Cardiff Blues winger Alex Cuthbert scored a superb long range solo try for Wales but it was South Africa who ran out 38-16 winners in the first Test at Growthpoint Kings Park on Saturday.
Cuthbert started the game alongside regional team-mate Gethin Jenkins but could do little as South Africa blasted to a 28-9 half-time lead with tries from Bryan Habana (2), Duane Vermeulen and Willie le Roux.
Star winger Cuthbert lit up the second half for Wales with a brilliant consolation try as he tore over after a scintillating run from 70 metres out.
Springboks were never in danger and a further try from Cornal Hendricks ensured Wales, who introduced Blues duo Matthew Rees and Josh Turnbull in the second half, will now travel to the second Test in Mbombela Stadium next Saturday needing to win to level the series.
The Welsh stage of the Premiership Rugby 7s Series explodes into life at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park this Saturday - and fans attending a night of thrilling regional rugby will also be showing their support for the #StayStrongForOws campaign.
In its sixth year the Blues Cup once again showed to be huge hit throughout the region and is a great advert for the community game as each of the six finalists across the three age groups produced rugby of an outstanding level resulting in 14 tries.
Inspired Cardiff Blues enjoyed Judgement Day at the Millennium Stadium as they secured a tense 17-13 win over regional rivals Scarlets in a feisty and enthralling encounter in the RaboDirect PRO12 on Easter Sunday.