South Africa v Wales: Team can be proud, says Alun Wyn Jones

Alex Cuthbert
Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones said the team can take pride from their time in South Africa.

Wales can be proud of their second Test display against South Africa despite losing in Nelspruit, says captain Alun Wyn Jones.

Warren Gatland's men lost the two-Test series following an agonising 31-30 defeat and Wales are still to beat the Springboks in South Africa.

But Jones, 28, said Wales can take heart from their time in South Africa.

"Ultimately, we can take a bit of pride out of the week as a whole, not just the performance," he said.

Tries from Jamie Roberts and Alex Cuthbert had put Wales in control in what was a dominant opening 25 minutes.

But with Luke Charteris and Dan Biggar sin-binned, South Africa got back into the game through a penalty try and a Cornal Hendricks effort.

Ken Owens' try extended Wales' lead early in the second half, but Willie Le Roux's try for South Africa set up a dramatic finale.

Wales were leading 30-24 with three minutes remaining and on the verge of a historic first ever Test win over the Springboks in South Africa.

But referee Steve Walsh awarded a penalty try after Liam Williams shoulder-charged Hendricks into touch just short of the try line with Morne Steyn converting to seal victory.

Wales head coach Gatland said Scarlets full-back Williams had apologised to his team-mates after the game at the Mbombela Stadium.

Despite the defeat, it was a much-improved Welsh performance following the heavy first-Test defeat in Durban.

Ospreys lock Jones, tour captain in place of the injured Sam Warburton, said Wales had sought to ignore negativity which had "bounced about on social media" ahead of the second Test.

"As a collective, we can be proud moving forward," Jones said

"This is not the result we would have wanted going into the off season, but definitely the performance."