Rugby World Cup
Heartbroken Dan Biggar thought Wales 'did just about enough to win the game'
Tristan Barclay
October 17, 2015
South Africa 23-19 Wales (Australia only)

Dan Biggar has been one of the standout players of the Rugby World Cup but he is "heartbroken" after Wales were dumped out of the quarterfinals by a last-gasp South Africa try.

The fly-half, whose heroics helped Wales defeat arch-rivals England in the pool stage, put in another fine performance in the famous red jersey at Twickenham to kick 14 points and send halves partner Gareth Davies over for what many assumed would be the match-winning try.

The Springboks, however, went right to the wire and stunned Wales with a late try of their own. Captain Fourie du Preez, who matched Biggar for invention, flew over in the left corner with just five minutes remaining, with the Welsh stand-off looking on helplessly from the bench as he underwent a head injury assessment.

"I'm absolutely heartbroken," Biggar said. "We've just been knocked out of the quarterfinals of the World Cup when we were leading with five minutes to go. It's going to take a bit of time to get over that. It's hard to describe it any other way than heartbreaking.

"I thought we did just about enough to win the game, but that's what a quality team does; they find that little bit of magic at the end. That's what it was, sheer magic."

© Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Wales dominated the first half and were close to a try in the opening minutes when first George North went within five metres before a wayward pass denied Tyler Morgan a clear run to the line.

Biggar said that things might have been different had Wales put their noses in front so early, rather than allowing the Springboks to take the lead against the run of play through the boot of Handre Pollard. But the 26-year-old insisted there would be no blame game in defeat and hailed the strength of the Welsh defence, particularly given the raft of injuries with which they have had to contend during the tournament.

"If we'd taken one of those opportunities early doors, maybe the one over the top, but it's just one of those things," he said. "There's no blame. We can look ourselves in the mirror tomorrow morning and know, with everything that's gone on, we couldn't have given an awful lot more.

"South Africa kept coming. They kept hold of the ball extremely well in the second half but our defence was outstanding to limit them, with their calibre and the size of their forwards, to just one magic try."

Biggar's team-mate Taulupe Faletau, just 24 but already the veteran of two World Cups, said the nature of his side's exit in 2015 stung more than their failure in 2011, when a harsh red card to Sam Warburton wrecked their semifinal challenge against France.

"Personally this is going to hurt more," Faletau said. "It's hard to put a finger on it but I feel like it's a missed opportunity going out in the quarterfinals. We could have progressed further and we wanted to do better than the quarterfinals.

"We're out of the tournament now so we're going to take some time off to relax and try to switch off from the rugby side of things. Then we'll regroup come the Six Nations."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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