Wales beat Springboks on SA soil for the first time ever
Watch: The Josh Adams match-winning try against South Africa
A late try from Josh Adams, converted by Gareth Anscombe from the touchline, secured Wales’ first-ever victory over the Springboks on South African soil.
It came from a five-metre lineout in the 77th minute – a bold call from a penalty – and from that Wales had penalty advantage as South Africa collapsed their maul.
After a few pick and goes from the forwards, the ball was spread wide and Adams sprinted over in the corner to take Wales within a point of an historic victory.
It wasn’t an easy kick for Anscombe, who had missed a penalty a few minutes earlier, but he was accurate with this one to ensure Wales took a 13-12 lead going into the final minute.
South Africa were awarded a scrum from the restart after a Welsh knock-on but the visitors, with debutant Sam Wainwright at tighthead, held firm at the set-piece and a few phases later Vincent Koch knocked on, ending the match.
It was quite a turnaround for Wales in those closing stages. At the hour mark, it looked like South Africa were going to close out a series win as they led 12-3 and Wales were down to 14 players after Alun Wyn Jones was sin-binned.
Yet that yellow card seemed to shift momentum to the visitors, who showed the character to get themselves back into the game. They enjoyed a lot more territory in that final quarter as the Springboks’ lost their discipline and Anscombe – on for the injured Dan Biggar – reduced the deficit with a penalty.
He missed with another opportunity from the tee on 70 minutes but made amends with that late touchline conversion.
It was a pretty average Test match and the lack of cohesion in the Boks team was probably to be expected given the 14 changes made to the starting XV. Wales defended resolutely and then had the belief to push for a match-winning try.
As Adams told Sky Sports in his post-match interview: “After last week, we spoke about the disappointment and hurt to lose at the end, and how if you can bottle that hurt and disappointment as a team you can use it effectively.
“It showed the character of the team, the way we came back and won it. It speaks volumes of the team.”
That character will be needed once more in Cape Town next week with the series level at 1-1.
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