Phillips add his voice

November 4, 2013
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675e51ddd4c744378a703ff3a956543dWe have already heard Wales coach Warren Gatland talking the team up for their upcoming match against the Springboks, now Wales scrumhalf Mike Phillips says there’s “no reason” why they can’t go out and beat the Springboks in Cardiff on Saturday.

The “Red Dragons” have improved markedly in recent years, winning two Grand Slams and three Six Nations titles since Warren Gatland took over as coach in 2008.

However, their record against the three Southern Hemisphere powers – South Africa, New Zealand and Australia – remains dismal.

They have suffered 22 defeats in 23 matches against the “Big Three” under Gatland with the sole victory coming against the Wallabies in 2008.

Their overall record in Tests against South Africa is also poor, with the Boks holding a 24-1 winning record, with one match ending in a draw.

However, Phillips is adamant that things will be different this time round, especially since they’ve come close to notching victories against the Boks in their last four outings.

South Africa won 17-16 at the World Cup in New Zealand two years ago and in three Tests in Cardiff before that the respective scorelines read: 29-25; 34-31 and 20-15.

Phillips, in an interview with the RBS Six Nations website, said they have the talent in their squad to go out there and do it.

He described the Boks as an immensely physical side but is confident his charges will be able to match that.

The controversial scrumhalf was recently sacked by his French club Bayonne for arriving at a training session under the influence of alcohol, but his focus is now firmly on the South Africa challenge.

He said he was impressed by the Springboks in the Rugby Championship but doesn’t see any reason why Wales can’t bag a victory.

Wales will also take heart from the British and Irish Lions’ demolition of Australia earlier this year.

There were 10 Welsh players in the Lions’ starting team for the decisive third Test against the Wallabies in June – a game the Lions convincingly won 41-16 to claim their first series win in 16 years.

Kick-off at the Millennium Stadium is at 19:30 (SA time) on Saturday.

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8 Comments

  1. avatar Craven says:
    November 4th, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    OK, we get it. You are in actual fact a better team than the Books, always have been. If not for the universe conspiring against you repeatedly, you would have chalked numerous, famous victories over the men in Green and Gold. Well, this Saturday you will hopefully not have the rotten luck that have lead to countless defeats, and you will prove once and for all that Wales are, in fact, a lot more than talk and hot air like we hear year after year after year after year….

  2. avatar DavidS says:
    November 4th, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    I’m thinking of how Sean Fitzpatrick refers to England.

    You never beat them… you just score more points than they did.

  3. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    November 5th, 2013 at 12:53 am

    And in other news… if you watched the Castres vs CLermont game which ended in a draw… Rory Kockott scored every single point for his side!

    A try… a conversion and all 5 penalties!

    He’s so strong at the breakdown… bullying his opposition loosies…

    Phillips will have a field day in this regard… even with FDP IMO…

  4. avatar Craven says:
    November 5th, 2013 at 7:47 am

    @bryce_in_oz:

    I saw that, must admit, as a bit of a self confessed Rory doubter, he was very, very impressive in that game. Why did Province not approach him?

  5. avatar Americano says:
    November 5th, 2013 at 8:12 am

    There must be more than meets the eye here.
    SA rugby treats Rory Kockett as if he were Edward Snowden.
    Do we have to wait till John LeCarre writes a novel on the freakin’ dude?
    The rugby media has their thumbs in their mouths – time to call in the B-52 of intrepid reporting – no other than RW’s own….
    YOC.
    Let’s roll!

  6. avatar DavidS says:
    November 5th, 2013 at 9:51 am

    I am also confused. Surely by now the Sharks will want him back, the Lions may want him back given their haemorrhaging of scrumhalves. Hell even the Spears seeing as he comes from East London originally.

    ps. I watched that game. Despite his small size he does muscle opposition forwards and his physicality intimidates opposition scrumhalves too.

    He also gets in the faces of opposition players and unnerves them. In the Tolouse semi last year he was outstanding at unnerving Frederic Michalak, congratulating the latter for knocking on as he tried to take a quick free kick to such an extent Michalak took a swing at him and got a talking to from the ref.

  7. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    November 6th, 2013 at 1:58 am

    @DavidS:

    Yep he has EVERYTHING a 9 requires and more (one of the best goal-kickers around atm)…

    He has not yet signed the Toulon contract nor has he resigned with Castres… so perhaps Smitty and co do have him on their radars… my issue is however… he is ‘currently’ in the form of his life and the Boks are missing quality in his position (other than FDP)…

  8. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    November 6th, 2013 at 2:03 am

    @Craven:

    Mate he has been playing like that week-in-and-out for two seasons now…

    WP need him badly… but I’d like to see him back at the Sharks…

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