Rugby World Cup 2011
Davies watchful Wales keep discipline
September 6, 2011
Bradley Davies says Wales are mindful of gifting South Africa with soft penalties, as they have in their last two encounters © PA Photos
Cardiff Blues lock Bradley Davies is determined not to see Wales' bid for a momentous World Cup win over the Springboks undermined by gifting the World Champions soft penalties.
Wales have history when it comes to letting the 2007 World Cup winners off the hook - twice. In the space of six painful months last year, Wales blew big Millennium Stadium leads against the Springboks.
The first time it was a 13-point advantage that South Africa wiped out and won 34-31 in June 2010, and then they fought back from 11 points behind to claim a 29-25 triumph in November later that year.
The architect of that latter victory was fly-half marksman Morne Steyn, whose 19-point haul included five penalties and left Wales searching for answers as to how they had let their lead slip.
Steyn had previously displayed his unerring accuracy against the 2009 British and Irish Lions - a squad which included several current Wales players - and Davies knows discipline will be paramount.
"You don't want to give away any easy points," said the 24-year-old. "We've talked all week about not giving silly penalties away.
"The last time we played against them we gave away to many, which meant when we were out in front they had chances to claw back. The challenge for us now is not to give those soft penalties away, and to finish the game with a win."
Wales coach Warren Gatland is due to announce his starting line-up on Friday for a game that will put the winners in pole position to claim Pool D's top spot.
One internet poll currently has Sunday's clash as the game most likely to cause a pool stage upset, which says everything about Wales' eye-catching pre-tournament form that netted them victories over England and Argentina.
"Personally, I think it's great that we get to start with a big one, to start with a bang, It sends the message out to the rest that we are up for it," said Davies.
"They are a world-class team. We have played them enough times to know what to expect, and we are under no illusions how tough this game is going to be."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
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