Saturday 22 July 2017

Davies kick saves Wales' blushes

Wales 33 Japan 30

Yu Tamura tackles Wales' full back Liam Williams during the International match between Wales and Japan at the Principality Stadium yesterday. Photo: Getty Images
Yu Tamura tackles Wales' full back Liam Williams during the International match between Wales and Japan at the Principality Stadium yesterday. Photo: Getty Images

Andrew Baldock

Sam Davies admitted it was a case of "hero or villain" after his drop-goal in the dying seconds spared Wales' blushes against Japan.

Davies, a second-half substitute, struck 10 seconds from the end of normal time to edge Wales home 33-30 at the Principality Stadium.

Kotaro Matsushima is challenged by Jonathan Davies during the International match between Wales and Japan at the Principality Stadium yesterday. Photo: Getty Images
Kotaro Matsushima is challenged by Jonathan Davies during the International match between Wales and Japan at the Principality Stadium yesterday. Photo: Getty Images

Dan Lydiate, Jamie Roberts and Sam Warburton scored tries, while wing Leigh Halfpenny kicked 15 points as Wales triumphed, yet it was a performance that lacked consistency and finesse.

Japan looked a far more threatening outfit with ball in hand as wings Akihito Yamada and Kenki Fukuoka, plus substitute Amanaki Lotoahea, claimed touchdowns, with flyhalf Yu Tamura adding three penalties and two conversions and centre Timothy Lafaele converting Yamada's try.

Wales boss Rob Howley made 10 changes following last weekend's hard-fought win against Argentina. But few players stood up to be counted as Wales did just enough to edge it.

Davies said: "The mood in the camp is a bit down at the moment. We would like to have won the game a bit more comfortably than that.

Keisuke Uchida runs in the third Japan try during the International match between Wales and Japan at the Principality Stadium yesterday. Photo: Getty Images
Keisuke Uchida runs in the third Japan try during the International match between Wales and Japan at the Principality Stadium yesterday. Photo: Getty Images

"Personally, I had a job to do at the end, and thankfully I did it. The forwards did a good job getting the ball back, and set a good platform for me to put the ball over.

"You practise for those situations week in, week out, and today it went over. It was hero or villain today, and thankfully I was the hero."

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