Let’s face it, if you can beat the Springboks with a makeshift front and back row, new centre pairing and a side that is missing six British & Irish Lions, things can’t be too bad! For some of us who waited more than half our lives for a single win over South Africa, we are now basking in a golden era of three on the bounce at home. So let’s not be mealy-mouthed about it, however tense it was at the end, and take the win and move on. Winning was important given that every other home nation had taken a southern hemisphere scalp last month and it looks as though the 2018 Six Nations is going to be one of the most competitive of all-time. So what did we learn over the four games this autumn?
Danny Wilson has admitted he could understand Nigel Owens’ decision to red card Taufa’ao Filise – but still felt the decision was harsh. The Cardiff Blues coach has paid tribute to his team’s tenacity after they lost 40-16 at Glasgow on Friday night, where they played all but the opening half hour with 14 men. They were reduced to 13 when flanker Olly Robinson was sent to the sin bin, but it was the dismissal of Filise for a high tackle that proved the real turning point.
Hadleigh Parkes will make his Wales debut against South Africa five years after he says he finally realised he would never be an All Black. The New Zealander will win his first cap for his adopted country on Saturday, having served out – just – his three-year residency period. Parkes, 30, was tending sheep on the family farm as recently as 2014, before he arrived at the Scarlets, where he has thrived as a hard-running centre.
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