Tuesday 22 August 2017

Davies saves poor Wales

Wales 33 Japan 30

Jamie Roberts breaks through Japan's defence to score Wales second try. Photo: PA
Jamie Roberts breaks through Japan's defence to score Wales second try. Photo: PA

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Sam Davies held his nerve to convert a drop-goal with 10 seconds left and inflict a cruel defeat on Japan at the Principality Stadium.

The home side were poor and Japan should have won this. Indeed, if Fumiaki Tanaka had not missed a penalty in the 67th minute, Davies would have been taking aim in the dying seconds for a draw.

Japan's Fumiaki Tanaka clears the ball. Photo: Reuters
Japan's Fumiaki Tanaka clears the ball. Photo: Reuters

This would have been beyond embarrassing for Rob Howley and his staff as Japan were missing many of their stars based in Europe. Their inexperience is best summed up by the fact that five of the pack had won two caps or fewer.

Sam Warburton praised Davies' composure, saying: "It takes a lot of guts to do that, especially on his second cap." Howley declared the match-winner to be a "get-out-of-jail card", adding: "Japan were the better team and deserved to win."

Expect Wales to come under intense scrutiny in the build-up to South Africa on Saturday - a game which, after the upset in Florence, the support will now expect to win.

Wales: Liam Williams; L. Halfpenny, J. Davies, J. Roberts, A. Cuthbert; G. Anscombe (repl S. Davies 67), Lloyd Williams (repl G. Davies 51); N. Smith (repl R. Gill 67), S. Baldwin, S. Lee (repl S. Andrews 67), C. Hill (repl J. Ball 61), AW. Jones, D. Lydiate, J. King, S. Warburton (capt).
Japan: K. Matsushima; A. Yamada, T. Lafaele, H. Tatekawa (capt), K. Fukuoka; Y. Tamura (repl A. Lotoahea 33-40, 68), F. Tanaka; S. Nakatani (repl K. Yamamoto 52), S. Horie (repl T. Hino 59) , K. Hatakeyama (repl H. Ito 52), K. Kajikawa, S. Anise (repl U. Helu 52), M. Ilaua (repl Y. Mimura 68), A. Mafi, S. Nunomaki (repl S. Matsuhashi 59).

Japan's Amanaki Lotoahea scores a try. Photo: Reuters
Japan's Amanaki Lotoahea scores a try. Photo: Reuters

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