Wales bemoan poor show

Wales coach Warren Gatland said he was embarrassed by elements of his team's performance in the 43-17 defeat at the hands of the Springboks in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Wales coach Warren Gatland said he was embarrassed by elements of his team's performance in the 43-17 defeat at the hands of the Springboks in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

"Not just the players, but the management is also pretty disappointed and quite frankly we're pretty embarrassed by that performance," Gatland told a news conference.

In the week leading up to the first match, Gatland said Wales were hoping to use the two-Test series to earn respect, but the coach conceded that the team's performance had not helped their cause.

"I don't think we earned any respect - our handling was poor, and we're disappointed with the number of penalties we gave away," said Gatland. "It just allowed South Africa to keep the scoreboard ticking over."

South Africa outscored the Six Nations champions four tries to two and dominated in most areas of play. Four early penalties from Butch James gave the world champions the initiative.

Gatland was impressed by the home team's all-round strength.

"They were very strong in the collision areas and ran really hard. One area of the game that they dominated us physically was at the breakdown."

Captain Ryan Jones said the scrum was pretty much the only department where the Welsh had competed and said they had plenty to work on ahead of the second Test in Pretoria on June 14.

Bok coach Peter de Villiers said he could not have expected a more satisfactory result in his first match ion charge.

"At first we didn't look too good, but we picked ourselves up in the second half - we'll bank this win and move on from here," he said. - Reuters

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