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Wales need to end losing streaks
ESPN Staff
November 3, 2013
Mark Taylor  runs with the ball against South Africa at the opening of the ground, Millennium Stadium, June 26, 1999
Wales' only win against either South Africa or New Zealand in the last 60 years came at the opening of the Millennium Stadium in 1999 © Getty Images
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Wales will need to overcome a "mental blockage" when the face South Africa at Cardiff next weekend according to former Springbok Joel Stransky.

Speaking from his home in South Africa, Stransky said if Wales are to be serious contenders for the 2015 World Cup they had to shake off the bad run they have against the Springboks and the All Blacks.

"For a side as good as Wales, there has to be some sort of mental blockage preventing them from winning the tough matches. It's got to be a mental thing."

In 26 matches against South Africa, Wales have won only one - in 1999 - and drawn one other. In 29 games against the All Blacks, Wales have won there, the most recent in 1953, and all at Cardiff.

"The issue for Wales is to find the winning mentality against the really top teams. You really do have to question why they've been so close so often and haven't beaten the Boks for such a long time. They've still to show they have learnt how to win the really tight matches. The England World Cup-winning team of 2003 knew how to do that but it hasn't happened yet for Wales."

Stransky said more they failed to break the losing pattern the harder things become. "If Wales do win, then it will be one of their most famous victories. As good as Wales are they have got weaknesses and you're only as good as your weakest link. The Boks have the ability to exploit those weaknesses. We are so fortunate in South Africa in having enormous depth to our pool of players. I don't think there's the same depth in the British countries.

"When Wales have a few injuries they come unstuck badly. If you catch Wales on a day when everything clicks, they can be devastating and they play a brand of rugby which is very difficult to defend against.

"[But] Wales will be thinking: 'Why have we not beaten a team as good as the Springboks for so long? It's whether they can summon the necessary self-belief from deep down in their subconscious. To beat a team with the physicality of the Boks you've got to match them blow for blow and then you've got to do something extraordinary."

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