Wales confident ahead of the Boks clash

Warren Gatland highlights that the last time the two teams clashed, Wales won and the two encounters.

George North of Wales is tackled to the ground by Australia's David Pocock. Picture: Rugby World Cup website.

LONDON - Wales coach Warren Gatland says his team is going into next weekend's Rugby World Cup quarterfinal against the Springboks fully confident of winning as his team have proven they're a team they perform well against.

Wales lost to Australia 15-6 on Saturday to finish runner's up in Pool A.

Overall, the Springbok record against Wales is good having lost just twice in 30 matches, with one draw.

But, as Gatland highlighted, the last time the two teams clashed, Wales won and the two encounters before that saw Wales push the Springboks close.

"I think both sides are a little bit the same and I think with South Africa they've gone back to what they are good at. We've got to match them physicality upfront and scramble in the scrumhalf and if you can do this, you have a good competition against them."

Gatland said that the Springboks opening match defeat to Japan looks to have drawn them closer together. He said that the youthful streak in the springbok squad has been impressive.

It was tight, tense affair that ultimately saw the boot of Bernard Foley sealing it for the wallabies.

Twickenham was in fine form with both sets of fans in terrific voice while the neutrals were also treated to a spectacle of classic, tournament rugby.

The first half was a fairly balanced affair with Australia's slight dominance being reflected on the scoreboard as they led 9-6.

But the second saw Wales fail to take advantage when they had the clear ascendancy. The wallabies defended like Trojans, down to 13 men at one stage as both Will Genia and Dean Mumm were sin-binned.

That period was for over 20 minutes as Wales's spurned chances to kick at goal in order to force a numerical advantage that never told. It was their undoing.

Wales's captain Sam Warburton has defended his decision to turn down a number of goal kicking opportunities that could have cost his side victory in their encounter against Australia.

"Yes, I do. I felt like we need a try to beat Australia as we were six points behind, so there would have been two penalties that would bring us to a draw.

"They were player or two down, which is why it is disappointing that we didn't manage to get more from the scrum, more from their driving lineout, considering they were man down."

Warburton said it's a decision that he's happy with.

They take on the Springboks in next Saturday's quarterfinals; Warburton says they're confident of beating the springboks.

"It's a great challenge next week and that's what great teams are made of, being able to bounce back. I'm more than confident that we can do that, and so disappointing that we lost today but we'll be back next week."

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