Cardiff Blues duo Josh Adams and Tomos Williams says Wales are determined to finish their Rugby World Cup campaign on a high and make history, as they take on New Zealand for third place on Friday.
The tournament’s top scorer, Adams, was yet again on the scoresheet in Yokohama on Sunday, but Wales were devastatingly edged out by a late Handre Pollard penalty as South Africa booked their place in the final.
The wing, who has moved to Wales’ Capital Reigon over the summer, insists his side left everything on the pitch against the Springboks, but are determined to bounce back and give Warren Gatland and his coaching team a worthy send-off.
“We were right in the game and a couple of decisions against us at important times and that’s where we lost the arm-wrestle,” said Adams.
“It’s hard to see what went wrong at the minute, because we’re still hurting, but at 16-all we were right in it but it got away from us.
“You can’t question the effort and commitment from any of the players.
“From one to 23, when everyone came on, they put their bodies on the line and done what was asked of them. That’s all you can do.
“We played with our hearts on our sleeves, gave it everything we could and came just short in the end.
“We’re bitterly disappointed, but we’ve got another week together, which we have to enjoy.
“A lot of the coaching staff are moving on so we’ll have to enjoy this week together because it will be the last week we spend together as a squad. We’ll look forward to it.
“We want to finish this era on a high. 100 per cent.
“He’s given a lot to this team, the country as well as to the other coaching staff.
“This is another important week, and this will hurt for a time, but when it passes we’ll have another game to look forward to.
“We want to make sure Gats goes out with a win if we can.”
Meanwhile, scrum half Williams has been one of Wales' stand-out players during the campaign, making impact from the bench in all games to date.
The academy product admits the manner of the defeat against the Springboks was tough to take, but he's hungry for the opportunity to end 66-years of heartbreak against the All Blacks.
"Obviously the boys are gutted after all the hard work we’ve done, to lose by three points is gutting," said the scrum half.
"The boys are disappointed but we’ll have to move on.
"We should’ve had something out of being in their half for so long but that’s the way it happens.
"It was always going to be tight, and maybe we didn’t get some of the calls, but it was disappointing not to get a penalty or something out of that.
"We have another chance to make history and push for third place.
"For a lot of the coaches this is going to be their last game so hopefully we can send them off with a bit of pride."