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Wales v Japan - Story of the Match

Published 19/11/2016

Wales Sam Davies celebrates scoring the winning drop goal against Japan
Wales Sam Davies celebrates scoring the winning drop goal against Japan

Sam Davies got Wales out of jail with a last-gasp drop goal as Japan were thwarted 33-30 at the Principality Stadium.

The Ospreys fly-half, who went on as a second-half substitute, struck during the closing seconds to give Wales victory.

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 - and almost produced a colossal upset.

TWEET OF THE MATCH

"I'm no Carwyn James, but I fail to see how Wales are progressing their style of play. Where's the ambition and fluidity? Simply not working" - Owain Jones ‏(Rugby World magazine editor)

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Young Ospreys fly-half Sam Davies is rated as a player who shows maturity beyond his years, and he displayed it at the right time as Wales edged out Japan in dramatic fashion. Wales looked to have run out of ideas to win the game after Japan drew level with the clock ticking down, but his drop goal during the dying seconds proved a match-winning act.

STAT OF THE MATCH

Wales preserved their 100 per cent winning record against Japan in Cardiff, making it five wins from five. But that does not begin to tell the story as they were pushed all the way by a superb effort from the Brave Blossoms, who matched Wales 3-3 on tries and were only undone during the dying seconds.

WINNER AND LOSER

Wales centre Jamie Roberts returned to the Test arena after being dropped for the Argentina game last weekend in try-scoring fashion. The 85-times-capped centre touched down during the first half as he delivered a performance of outstanding character. The same, though, could not be said for Wales fly-half Gareth Anscombe, whose patient wait for a start in the number 10 jersey fell well below par - before his replacement Sam Davies applied a match-winning touch.

RATINGS

Wales

Liam Williams 6/10

Leigh Halfpenny 7

Jonathan Davies 7

Jamie Roberts 6

Alex Cuthbert 5

Gareth Anscombe 6

Lloyd Williams 5

Nicky Smith 6

Scott Baldwin 6

Samson Lee 5

Cory Hill 6

Alun Wyn Jones 6

Dan Lydiate 5

Sam Warburton 6

James King 7

Replacements:

Gareth Davies (on for Lloyd Williams) 6

Jake Ball (on for Hill) 6

Sam Davies (on for Anscombe) 6

Rhys Gill (on for Smith) 6

Scott Andrews (on for Lee) 6

WHO'S UP NEXT

Wales v South Africa (Saturday, November 26)

Fiji v Japan (Sunday, November 27)

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