Mike Phillips says Wales 'devastated' by South Africa defeat
Last Updated: 10/11/13 3:38pm
Mike Phillips (right): Wales gutted by defeat to Springboks
Scrum-half Mike Phillips admits Wales' 24-15 defeat to South Africa on Saturday was "devastating."
Wales have now lost 17 successive matches against South Africa, New Zealand and Australia and they have not won a November international in Cardiff for four years.
Wales gave it everything and trailed by just two points with 15 minutes left, but South Africa's firepower proved too great in the end.
"I am bitterly disappointed," said scrum-half Phillips, following an impressive display in his first game since being sacked by French club Bayonne last month for alleged drunken behaviour.
"We are used to winning here in Wales and we really felt that we could go out there and create an upset.
"It's devastating, really. We just want to go back out there and play the game again, but obviously we can't. We have got to learn from this and move on. We've got to win the next three games to put this right."
"Everybody gave it everything. We came back really well in the second half, but we just felt that there were one or two lapses in concentration and the game was gone from us.
"Obviously, they are a great side and they capitalised on that. It's devastating, really. We just want to go back out there and play the game again, but obviously we can't.
"We have got to learn from this and move on. We've got to win the next three games to put this right.
"We had a bit of bad luck and they capitalised when we had boys down injured as well. We didn't have the rub of the green.
"But there we are. We've got to learn from it, grow from it and move on and win the next three games, really.
"South Africa are among the most physical teams out there and they've got a simple game-plan. They are very direct and they fed off our mistakes.
"They had a great driving maul and they were maybe a bit more streetwise on the floor. They are good at the tricks of the trade.
"We felt we were back in the game, but they killed us off with that last try. It was really flat in the changing room afterwards. We don't like losing, and while we knew it was going to be a tough game, we were confident and felt we had the talent to do it."
The last team Wales beat in a November match was Argentina back in 2009, and they will be the opponents next weekend.
Argentina were beaten 31-12 by England at Twickenham and looked tired - they arrived in the UK on the back of an exhausting Rugby Championship campaign.
But Phillips is expecting a bruising match: "It's going to be tough. They are very forward-orientated and pride themselves on their scrum and driving lineout. We lost to them last year and we need to match them and get a victory this time."