Warren Gatland. Pic: Getty Images.

Garland Steels Wales For Tougher Tests After Victory Over Springboks

Warren Gatland has warned Wales to expect a step-up in intensity against Argentina next week after their dramatic 22-20 victory over South Africa in Washington.

Ryan Elias’ late try saw Wales snatch victory over a much-changed South Africa side who had left most of their big names at home to prepare for the test series against England.

But Gatland defended the fixture saying it gave his side – without a clutch of British Lions – vital experience ahead of the games against Argentina on June 6 and 13.

‘There are a couple of things to work on, but we are looking forward to going to Argentina now which will be a big step up for us,” said Gatland.

“Who would want to be a coach? The end was dramatic and maybe our game management could have been better, but I thought we played well in the first half.

‘The heat out there was something we’ll experience in Japan at the World Cup next year and that will be a big benefit to us moving forwards.’

‘The young guys will take a lot from this and there will be a lot of learning from them moving forwards. I thought captain Ellis Jenkins was outstanding and so was Tomos Williams.”

Williams scored a try on an impressive debut and also charged down a clearance to set up the winning try.

Hallam Amos had also crossed early for Wales who led 14-3 at the break before being hit by the South African comeback.

Skipper Ellis Jenkins said: ‘The guys showed great determination to see out the game and the main positive is the caps and experience some of our younger guys got from the match.

“It’s a Test match and the atmosphere was very good. Everything we’ve heard surrounding this game was very positive and we’re really pleased to get the result.’

But Scarlets wing Steff Evans could miss the South American leg of the tour after leaving the RFK Stadium on crutches having suffered a knee injury.

Garland admitted: It doesn’t look brilliant, but we’ll just have to wait and see. Steff hyper-extended his knee and we’ll have to have a look at that on a scan.”

 

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