Wales left licking wounds after Japan win felt like defeat - Dan Lydiate
Dan Lydiate admits Wales have been left licking their wounds after a victory over Japan that felt more like a defeat.
Flanker Lydiate, who scored a first international try in his 59th Wales Test, says the performance was not good enough.
And a 73,000 Principality Stadium crowd - comfortably Wales' biggest of this season's autumn series - would struggle to disagree after substitute Sam Davies' 80th-minute drop-goal finally sunk Japan 33-30.
Struggling South Africa are next up for Wales in six days' time - the Springboks have won 28 of the countries' 31 previous meetings - and Lydiate knows a vastly-improved display is required.
"We are licking our wounds," he said. "We were too loose at times, and we got punished for it.
"If we do that next week it's not going to be a pretty scoreline. We want to build on each week, and today (Saturday) wasn't good enough, but we will put that to bed and train hard for next week.
"We took a step back from a good win against Argentina last week."
Wales beat South Africa 12-6 when the countries last met in Cardiff two years ago, and the Springboks' European tour has so far seen them beaten by Italy and England after drawing with the Barbarians.
"They will be wanting to finish the autumn internationals on a high, and there will certainly be a backlash coming," Lydiate added.
"Hopefully, we can up our game. We need to step up, really.
"They are one of the most physical teams in world rugby, there is no doubt about that, and if you don't stop them it's going to be a hard day at the office and there will be a high scoreline.
"Whoever is selected, it's going to be a tough challenge, but I am sure the boys will definitely step up.
"In recent years we've come up short (against southern hemisphere teams). We got a win over them in 2014, and if we can get the result this time then three (wins) out of four is not too bad in an autumn series.
"We've won the last two games, which is always good, but we need to keep building on performances.
"If we get the result next week, all you will remember are the results, not the spluttering in performance."
And reflecting on his debut Test try, Lydiate said: "It's obviously a nice achievement - it was my 59th cap, so I wouldn't say I am a prolific try-scorer - but it still feels like a bit of a loss.
"All credit to the Japanese team, they showed how elusive they can be and they certainly punished us when they had the ball in hand."