LOCAL rugby figures have been reflecting on Wales' agonising semi-final loss at the Rugby World Cup.

Warren Gatland's side pushed two-time world champions South Africa close in Sunday's last-four clash, before eventually slipping to a 19-16 loss.

Llangollen Rugby Club's Huw Evans said: "(It was) such a disappointing result against the South Africans.

"When we made 16-16, I thought we could do it, but it wasn't meant to be.

"I felt we had a great chance to win this game, but we seemed to want to kick the ball away and invited them to attack us.

"We are a small nation, but a proud nation.

"This World Cup has given some of our younger players some real experience which will stand them in good stead for the next World Cup.

"Players like Josh Adams, Tomas Williams and Aaron Wainwright have really put their hands up and they look exciting prospects going forward into the Six Nations next year."

Clwb Rygbi Dinbych's Jeff Jenkins said: "We should all be proud of the Welsh team's efforts throughout the World Cup.

"They have shown great commitment and character especially coming from behind to win in two games which they could have lost.

"I don't think that they could have done much more in the semi-final against a South African team which made few mistakes and played to their strengths - their size, power and physicality gave them the edge in the set pieces and the contact area so they were able to control the game.

"Even then, we might have won the game ourselves just before they did, when we had one of our few periods of pressure, but they defended very well near their line.

"As far as the future is concerned, this present team is an ageing one so we have to look to a new generation of players for the near future. So we live in hope!"

Ruthin Rugby Club's Joe Mault said: "Totally gutted about the defeat, but immensely proud of the players to achieve a semi-final spot and hopefully get an historic win over New Zealand to give Warren Gatland a great send off!

"The game itself was totally frustrating and either side could have won it, but unfortunately it just wasn’t to be.

"I think we had a chance for a drop goal before the Louw turnover and maybe the team will reflect on that after the tournament.

"The future looks bright with a number of younger players blooded at the World Cup, like Rhys Carre and Aaron Wainwright, so the experience will give Wales a good platform for the next World Cup."