Rugby: Wales survive huge scare to edge Japan 33-30

Sports Saturday 19/November/2016 21:24 PM
By: Times News Service
Rugby: Wales survive huge scare to edge Japan 33-30

Cardiff: Replacement flyhalf Sam Davies's last-gasp drop goal gave Wales a 33-30 win over a feisty Japan side in a thrilling Test at the Principality Stadium on Saturday.
Wales were given a big fright when replacement back Amanaki Lotoahea raced down the right wing for a try which flyhalf Yu Tamura converted to put the 2019 World Cup hosts level at 30-30 with five minutes remaining.
The Welsh were indebted to 15 points from the boot of Leigh Halfpenny as they were never allowed a breather by a Japan side who hit back every time the hosts looked like pulling away.
"Fair play to Sam Davies stepping up at end," Wales captain Sam Warburton told the BBC. "It was a get out of jail free card. Every time we scored we let them back in which is disappointing. After gaining momentum we took two steps back."
Japan number eight Amanaki Mafi, voted man of the match, said: "It is not the result we wanted, but we played for the entire 80 minutes and I'm really proud of our players.
"We know Wales are a tough team and we like to challenge the best in the world," he said after Japan showed improvement over a 54-20 home loss to Argentina two weeks ago and a 28-22 win in Georgia last Saturday.
Wales, having lost 32-8 to Australia then beaten Argentina 24-20, were poor, only getting momentum into their attacks in small bursts and often caught napping in possession.
Japan went 6-0 up inside the opening 10 minutes with two penalties by Tamura, the second earning Wales fullback Liam Williams a yellow card for blocking winger Akihito Yamada's run chasing his own chip ahead.
The visitors failed to profit from their numerical advantage, however, and Wales hit back with two quick tries by flanker Dan Lydiate and centre Jamie Roberts.
An interception inside the Japanese half by Yamada, however, enabled him to race away for the visitors' first try in the 38th minute, leaving Wales with a tight 14-13 halftime lead.
Wales went 24-13 up early in the second half after lock Alun Wyn Jones's charge was halted near the line but his pass sent Warburton over for a try.
That was followed three minutes later by the best try of the match scored by Fukuoka in the left corner following a brilliant passing movement in the backs.