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Jonathan Davies: Wales silenced critics during Springboks win

Simon King - CameraSport via Getty Images

Jonathan Davies described how Wales silenced their critics after they concluded their November schedule with a record victory against hapless South Africa.

A 27-13 victory at the Principality Stadium was only Wales' third victory over the Springboks in 110 years, and it secured a 75 per cent autumn success-rate following earlier wins against Argentina and Japan.

It was Wales' best autumn return since 2002, but unquestionably a better achievement than 14 years ago, when their scalps were Romania, Canada and Fiji.

And while critics have been quick to condemn Wales' style of play for chunks of the November schedule, they have ended 2016 on a three-game unbeaten run and with momentum going into this season's RBS 6 Nations Championship.

"I think it has been an upward curve," Wales centre Davies said. "We have always said that traditionally we get better as a team when we stay together longer, and I think it showed.

"There has been a lot of criticism over the way we've played. In parts (against South Africa) we showed we could silence those critics. Whatever they think, it is their own opinion obviously, but we have beaten South Africa, and that's the most important thing.

"They are a Rugby Championship team, one of the best teams in the last couple of years, and we have to make sure we beat what is put in front of us, regardless of the form they show.

"We've beaten South Africa, and there were 13 players in our changing room who have now beaten South Africa twice (Wales also toppled them two years ago), and we can take a lot from that."

Second-half tries from hooker Ken Owens and flanker Justin Tipuric eased Wales home, while full-back Leigh Halfpenny moved past 550 points for his country by kicking five penalties and a conversion.