10:29am Friday 16th August 2013
By Iwan Gabe Davies
NEWPORT Gwent Dragons star Toby Faletau says Wales will have to match South Africa’s famed brute force as they seek a rare win over the Springboks.
Wales have only beaten the Boks once since the first clash between the two in Cardiff back in 1906.
The home side were hot favourites to beat the tourists that day but crashed to an 11-0 defeat, perhaps an omen for their terrible record since.
Wales face the Boks for the 27th time this autumn on Saturday, November 9, South Africa leading the decidedly one-sided series 24-1 with just a solitary draw.
Even with the likes of Gareth Edwards, Barry John and JPR Williams, Wales failed to beat the beleaguered side of 1970 whose tour on the field was almost a sideshow to the anti-Apartheid demonstrations off it.
Wales were lucky to escape with a 6-6 draw in a quagmire at a muddy Cardiff Arms Park 43 years ago.
And they had to wait until 1999 for their first win, beating Gary Teichmann’s side 29-19 in the inaugural match at the Millennium Stadium, Blaenavon-born Mark Taylor scoring the opening try.
Wales have been hammering on the door for years to get that follow up win and came closest in the last contest between the two.
Number eight Faletau scored Wales’ only try when they were edged out 17-16 by the Boks at Wellington during the 2011 World Cup group stages.
South Africa kick off their Rugby Championship campaign at home to Argentina on Saturday and will head off to Europe to play Wales, Scotland and France after that tournament finishes.
Looking forward to their encounter with the Boks, Faletau said: “South Africa are a big physical side and you know what they bring – we have just got to try and stop them.
“It will be a great challenge. It would be nice to beat them for only a second time in history.
“We’d been close a few times before the game at the 2011 World Cup but we’d like to get a win rather than narrowly losing.”
The 2013 British and Irish Lions hero added: “You know what they bring, that physicality.
“You have got to match it or you are just going to get bullied all game. That’s what they bring and we’ve just got to take it to them.”
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