Wales will consider themselves desperately unlucky not to walk away with a win after going down 17-16 to the Springboks on Sunday.
After a slightly shaky start the Welsh side full of fresh new faces backed up all their talk during the week that they shouldn't be underestimated.
Under new young skipper Sam Warburton the team showed belief and looked more like one of the legendary Welsh sides of old than the relatively meek teams the country has produced for the last 20 years.
Could there be some smoke emerging from the rugby Dragon that has been dormant for some time?
Timmy Hancox rates the Welsh team:
15 James Hook:
Looked good and eager to be more involved in the game as many flyhalves would when pushed out to fullback. Chased down every kick and his charge down on Morne Steyn almost won his side the match. A close call on one goal kick and a crucial miss from the touchline near the end were the only blemishes on a good performance.
14 George North:
Didn't live up to his billing as a giant out on the right wing and was shaky under the high ball.
13 Jonathan Davies:
Was solid rather than spectacular in the midfield, while he didn't cause any major heart palpitations for the Springbok coaching staff.
12 Jamie Roberts:
Very strong crash ball runner and tested the Bok defence throughout the match, while his defence was also rock solid.
11 Shane Williams:
Looked to get involved as often as possible and brought some energy to everything he did, but wasn't effective as the Bok defenders watched him like hawks.
10 Rhys Priestland:
Still a little bit 'green' as far as international flyhalves go, but showed some signs of being a real threat to Stephen Jones' No.10 jersey. His kicking game was up and down, while he did show enough self belief to play flat when attacking inside the Springbok 22m line. He'll rue a simple drop-goal that was missed and probably would have won his side the game.
9 Mike Phillips:
Was very lively around the fringes and will cause problems for a lot of side in this tournament. Provided good service and looked after his less experienced flyhalf well by taking some of the pressure off him.
8 Toby Faletau:
Some stunning play in an eye-catching performance what was far superior to that of his opposite number Pierre Spies. Still a bit raw, but a strong ball carrier and swatted Morne Steyn like a fly on his way to scoring a very good try. His positional play improved of the match went on and Wales has uncovered a real gem in Faletau.
7 Sam Warburton:
The star of show and matched Heinrich Brussow at the breakdown, made more than 20 tackles and was a very good leader. What more can you ask for from a 22-year-old captain?
6 Dan Lydiate:
Tackled hard and did very few things wrong throughout the match. Put his head down and did a lot of hard work around the sides of the ruck.
5 Luke Charteris:
Hi execution in sacking the Springbok maul was unbelievable, as he managed to carve his way through on a few occasions, thereby limiting one of the Boks major weapons.
4 Alun Wyn Jones:
A fairly quiet game by his standards and he was anonymous for much of the match.
3 Adam Jones:
Had a good tussle with both Mtawarira and Steenkamp in the scrums, where the honours were more or less shared. Made a nuisance of himself at the rucks and mauls to add extra value outside of the set-pieces.
2 Huw Bennett:
A weak performance and Wales will be missing Matthew Rees, as Bennett struggled in the line-outs and didn't have a great game.
1 Paul James:
Made a number of tackles for a big front row and moved around the park well enough not to be a liability in the defensive line.
16 Lloyd Burns
17 Ryan Bevington
18 Bradley Davies: (On for Luke Charteris 72nd min)
Not long enough to be rated
19 Andy Powell
20 Tavis Knoyle
21 Scott Williams
22 Leigh Halfpenny
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