The Springboks finished their 2017 end-of-year tour with a narrow defeat at the hands of Wales. KweséESPN looks at five things that stood out during the Test match.
Wales' kicking game was excellent
You have to hand it Warren Gatland. As a tactician the New Zealander is as good as they come in the modern game. Wales' first two tries came from some pin-point tactical kicking. The Boks started the game with a fullback at wing, and they exploited Warrick Gelant's inexperience and his positioning. Wales also exploited the large amount of space behind the Boks' defence.
Poor selections hallmark of Coetzee's tenure
Playing Warrick Gelant on the wing, instead of unleashing the X-factor player at fullback, is just one of coach Allister Coetzee's many selection blunders over the last two years. Andries Coetzee has offered the Boks absolutely nothing at fullback for a while now, but his coach stuck with him. Ironically the Lions fullback's kick, that was charged down and led to a Wales try in the first half, may ultimately cost Coetzee his job.
Is this the end of Allister Coetzee?
The picture of a little tap on Coetzee's back by assistant coach Matt Proudfoot towards the end of the Test was worth a thousand words. Both seem to realise that it will probably the last time they will sit together in their Springbok blazers. A defeat against a largely second-string Wales team is surely the last straw and the final nail in a tenure that has been rather disappointing.
Wales' linespeed killed the Springboks
South African backs need to find a way to cope with the opposition's linespeed on defence. The momentum Wales gained in the first half with their linespeed forced the Springboks' runners to cut back into the traffic and then get slow ball at the ruck. Only in the second half when the home side started to tire did the Boks actually managed to enjoy front-foot ball. It's actually something the Boks have struggled with since Japan exploited this at the 2015 World Cup.
Springbok pack needs some talent behind them
The South African side's forwards were absolutely phenomenal throughout the Test. Their scrum was excellent, while the likes of Pieter-Steph du Toit, Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff and Siya Kolisi carried, tackled and rucked like monsters. However, the Boks have a shortage of X-factor players in the backs who can take advantage of such a wonderful platform. There were some good signs in the second half, but too many errors and bad decision-making by the backline led to this defeat.