Wales vs South Africa player ratings as Williams shows he's still got it and Gatland finds his six

South Africa's Jordan Hendrikse (left) and Wales' Liam Williams battle for a high ball
-Credit: (Image: PA Wire)

It was another tough afternoon for Wales as they fell to a 41-13 defeat to South Africa at Twickenham.

But it wasn't all one-way traffic as the Welsh team fought valiantly throughout, showing some signs of promise ahead of their upcoming tour of Australia. The scrum was a problem and they eventually got outmuscled, but there were more than a few decent individual performances.

Rugby correspondent Steffan Thomas hands out the ratings.

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Cameron Winnett - 5

As gutsy as ever but got caught out a few times defensively against a physically imposing Springboks backline. But was good in the air and never stopped trying.

Liam Williams - 7

The 33-year-old made a strong return to Test rugby with his aerial game putting the Springboks under pressure. Was calm and assured throughout while he asked questions of South Africa's defence.

Still has plenty to offer at this level.

Owen Watkin - 5

Put in a solid display without setting the world alight but Wales need his calming presence alongside the up and coming Mason Grady.

Mason Grady - 6

Partially at fault for South Africa's first try when he was caught out of position but grew into the game. Showed glimpses of his potential with his carrying but his timing was off on a few occasions.

Rio Dyer - 5

Put his side under pressure when he was sent to the sin bin after 13 minutes and got beaten on the outside by Edwill van der Merwe on more than one occasion.

Sam Costelow - 6

Missed an easy penalty early doors but recovered and got better as the game wore on. Kicked well out of hand, asking questions of the South Africa defence but cost Wales dearly when he kicked a penalty straight over the deadball line.

Ellis Bevan - 6

All in all this was a decent start to his international career. Made a tremendous try-saving tackle on South Africa No 8 Evan Roos early doors, while his box kicking was reasonably accurate.

Will rue not holding onto Mason Grady's pass with the try line at his mercy.

Gareth Thomas - 5

Had a torrid time at the scrum against a destructive Springboks eight. Put in a big defensive shift, making 12 tackles and won a turnover at the breakdown.

Dewi Lake (Captain) - 8 (Star man)

Outstanding. The Ospreys hooker led from the front and didn't take a backwards step.

During the Six Nations Wales were crying out for a carrier who could make big metres post contact and Lake was that man making nine carries and scoring a try.

Keiron Assiratti - 5

It was a really tough day at the office for the Cardiff prop who came under huge pressure at scrum time. There were a couple of early hidings in the scrum but it gradually improved as the half went on.

Injury forced him off the field just before half-time.

Matthew Screech - 6

Many people feared for the Dragons veteran but he didn't let himself down as he got stuck into the Springboks pack.

Ben Carter - 7

This was a big opportunity for the Dragons lock considering Wales' second-row crisis and he did well. Put in an enormous defensive shift and finished as the top tackler with 18.

Taine Plumtree - 7

Gatland has long been looking for a big physical six who is athletic and he may well have found his man. Plumtree was everywhere making 13 tackles and did his best to disrupt South Africa's maul.

James Botham - 6

Brought tons of energy and carried hard. The Cardiff man contested the breakdown well and tackled his heart out.

Probably hasn't done enough to dislodge Tommy Reffell in Australia but will be an able deputy.

Aaron Wainwright - 6

Tried his best to get his side over the gainline but found it tough going against a gigantic South African pack. Blotted his copybook when he got sent to the sin bin for illegally sacking the Springboks maul which led to a penalty try.


Evan Lloyd - 5

Carried hard but didn't make much of a dent.

Kemsley Mathias - 5

Played the final 18 minutes but failed to overturn South Africa's scrum dominance.

Harri O'Connor - 5

Suffered a tough time at the scrum but will be better for the experience

James Ratti - 5

Put in a few decent carries on his Test debut

Mackenzie Martin - 5

Replaced Taine Plumtree on 73 minutes and didn't have enough time to make an impact.

Gareth Davies - 5

Tried his best to inject some speed into the game but had little impact

Eddie James - 5

Played the last 10 minutes and made a couple of decent carries but not enough time to make an impact.

Jacob Beetham - 5

Not enough time to do anything worthwhile but didn't put a foot wrong putting in a couple of tackles.