THE NEWSDESK: Wales have to re-write the script in South Africa

DEJA  VU: Wales v South Africa

DEJA VU: Wales v South Africa

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South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

IT'S like deja vu all over again.

Never miss an opportunity to roll out a Yogi Berra quote, me.

Call it small consolation for that old, familiar Wales fan feeling.

Another loss to a southern hemisphere side - by one point.

This time, this time. But for the last gasp penalty try, heartbreaking but not a decision with which we can quibble.

Tough though it was on Liam Williams who acted on instinct in that JPR Williams style which prompted the South African commentator on footage I've seen to say, before the TMO playback: "a brilliant, try-saving tackle."

Williams will probably be wondering if the try had gone over in the corner, would Morne Steyn have got the conversion from a much tougher angle?

Hindsight is a cruel business.

But for missed opportunities to put more points on the board earlier in the match.

It is some consolation that Wales played with aggression and physicality and dominated South Africa at the breakdown for large sections of the match.

Gethin Jenkins was magnificent.

Here we are again, though, being taught that hard, hard lesson. The best rugby teams in the world will never, ever give up on a match.

Make no bones about it, there were moments when South Africa's players looked shell-shocked.

But they, like the All Blacks, will not be shell-shocked for too long.

They believe they will come back and win it.

And they do, time after time.

We have no control over that confidence. We cannot presume it will ever falter.

We cannot rely on referees always seeing things our way.

What we have to do is to re-write our own narrative that we are plucky losers, the nearly-men of the World Cup, the team which plays its part in classic test matches like Saturday's but never seems to come away with the result.

The biggest positive for me from Saturday's match was the way Wales reacted after conceding the second penalty try.

It reminded me of the way Wales reacted to the sending off of Warburton in the World Cup semi-final.

Not going to roll over, coming back swinging.

It is in our rugby side and our national character. Fans have been hoping that since the World Cup, our rugby side could let that determination, do or bust attitude, out on a regular basis.

We've seen it occasionally in the Six Nations.

We need to see it playing these southern hemisphere sides.

We need Wales not to take another step backwards in the final test.

The mental leap needed is because Wales' record against South Africa makes for depressing reading.

A win at the Millennium Stadium in 1999, and one draw, at Cardiff Arms Park in 1970, from 28 attempts.

Here's how we should be looking at it. Wales were beaten by just one point by the second best side in the world.

It's just one more small step to smash the southern hemisphere glass ceiling.

Time to write a fresh chapter in the record books.

IT SHOULD have been made clear months ago to the people of Newport just what impact the Nato summit will have upon them.

The drip, drip of information that schools might close, that transport will be badly affected, is the worst kind of PR for the summit.

During a meeting of the Gwent Police and Crime Panel in Newport on Friday, chief constable Jeff Farrar warned of transport disruption and said as many as 150 “protected people” will visit the city in September.

Along with them, thousands of delegates and journalists.

Mr Farrar promised a clear transport plan, but said any detailed announcements were being delayed by organisers in London.

Mr Farrar recognised the frustrations of Newport citizens and local authorities due to the lack of clear instructions on the transport plan, but said: “I’ve been very forceful in my discussions to get an answer on this – it’s only 10 weeks away.

“This event is being run by Westminster in Wales and the look and feel of it is set by Number 10 and they call the shots, really. The legacy of this event might be for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and London, but we will be the ones left with ‘I couldn’t take my child to school’. That legacy will be left with the police.”

Some people in Newport have been questioning the summit's benefit for us as a city from the outset. This is hardly going to allay their fears that it will have little.

Comments (1)

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3:38pm Sun 22 Jun 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

“This event is being run by Westminster in Wales and the look and feel of it is set by Number 10 and they call the shots, really. The legacy of this event might be for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and London, but we will be the ones left with ‘I couldn’t take my child to school’. That legacy will be left with the police.”

One might reasonably surmise then that the ordinary citizens and the children they are taking to school are not amongst the 150 privileged people who are deemed by our ostensibly elected government to be important enough to be worthy of protection by the law enforcement agencies to whom we pay so much of our hard-earned, yet scant money in taxes to. By now we're familiar with the defence that the Commandant and his force have no say in this and are only obeying orders, but doesn't this further fuel a rapidly growing suspicion that the early 21st century British police force are increasingly becoming merely a body of glorified security guards for the uber rich and famous?
“This event is being run by Westminster in Wales and the look and feel of it is set by Number 10 and they call the shots, really. The legacy of this event might be for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and London, but we will be the ones left with ‘I couldn’t take my child to school’. That legacy will be left with the police.” One might reasonably surmise then that the ordinary citizens and the children they are taking to school are not amongst the 150 privileged people who are deemed by our ostensibly elected government to be important enough to be worthy of protection by the law enforcement agencies to whom we pay so much of our hard-earned, yet scant money in taxes to. By now we're familiar with the defence that the Commandant and his force have no say in this and are only obeying orders, but doesn't this further fuel a rapidly growing suspicion that the early 21st century British police force are increasingly becoming merely a body of glorified security guards for the uber rich and famous? Katie Re-Registered
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