Wales were saved from a draw with Japan thanks to a last gasp drop-goal by replacement Sam Davies, giving them a 33-30 win in Cardiff. A late Japanese try and excellent conversion brought the visitors within minutes of a draw, against a team they have beaten just once before.
Davies had the final say though, snapping a kick that sailed through and crushed the courageous visitors’ hopes of claiming their first ever draw against Wales, after ten meetings.
“I was just thankful to get the opportunity to do it, hero or villain. Thankfully I was the hero,” Davies said. “It’s the kind of kick you visualise, winning a game for Wales.”
In fairness to the boys, they set a good platform for me to put the drop-goal over. The message came on, but I already knew it may come down to a drop-goal.”
Former Wales players have been blunt in their views of the performance, with Martyn Williams saying: “Wales are way off it. You can’t gloss over that. It was a dire performance. Wales were so slow and pedestrian. It is a win but a real poor performance.”
Interim coach Rob Howley meanwhile said that Japan deserved the win.
“It’s relief more than frustration, but I thought Japan were the better team today and deserved to win. While we came away with a win, it certainly felt like a loss and Japan deserve the accolades they will get,” he said.
Wales host South Africa next weekend in what should be a far tougher challenge.