South Africa 12-13 Wales: Visitors earn first-EVER away win over the Springboks in dramatic style as Gareth Anscombe’s conversion secures a narrow victory after Josh Adams’ late try
- Adams came off the bench to grab the game’s only try two minutes from time
- But it was still left to Anscombe to expertly guide his kick through the night air
- South Africa won the first Test in the dying moments, this time it was Wales’ turn
- It completes a staggering turnaround from Wayne Pivac’s Six Nations misery
Wales grabbed a slice of history of their own on a monumental day for the northern hemisphere.
Josh Adams, the only player dropped from the agonising first Test defeat, stepped off the bench to grab the game’s solitary try two minutes from time.
But it was still down to Gareth Anscombe to expertly guide his conversion through the night air in Bloemfontein from the touchline and through the posts.
Josh Adams came off the bench to grab the game’s only try two minutes from time for Wales
It was a first victory for Wales over the Springboks on South African soil and completed a stunning hat-trick for the northern hemisphere.
There was little of the blood and thunder of the first Test but once again it came down to the final moments.
This time it was Wales celebrating after coming back from 12-3 down in the last 15 minutes to set up a series decider in Cape Town next week.
To add to the fairytale, the crucial penalty was earned by a 24-year-old making his debut.
Sam Wainwright, yet to start a Premiership game for Saracens, was handed his first cap.
The rookie anchored the scrum well and won a late penalty that was to set up the game’s decisive moment.
Anscombe kicked for the corner and Adam Beard gathered the lineout. Josh Navidi combined with Tomos Williams to open the field and Anscombe found Adams out wide with a sweeping pass for the crucial try.
But it was still left to Gareth Anscombe to expertly guide his conversion through the night air
It completes a staggering turnaround for Wayne Pivac following his Six Nations misery
Still, however, it was down to the conversion. Amid the stunned silence of the Toyota Stadium, Anscombe stroked the ball over.
Some will point to the Springboks’ team selection. Wales coach Wayne Pivac’s opposite number, Jacques Nienaber, made a staggering 14 changes from Pretoria and in contrast Alex Cuthbert was the only new face in a red jersey.
But he cut a frustrated figure as he trudged off, kicking the ground, with an injury after just 16 minutes.
The first half ended in a stalemate with a penalty apiece for Dan Biggar and Handre Pollard.
Adams was the only Wales player dropped from the first Test but made an impact off the bench
Anscombe’s conversion then ensured this Wales team made history in the second Test match
After the break, Pollard kicked three of four penalties in the space 15 minutes that also saw Biggar taken off injured and Alun Wyn Jones sin-binned for a professional foul.
Losing two Test veterans could have spelt disaster for Wales but the defence, masterminded by coach Gethin Jenkins, stopped South Africa in their tracks and then the penalties ensued.
Biggar’s replacement, Anscombe, clawed back three points and though he missed a second, he was to prove the linchpin for the crucial late try and that final kick.
Wales’ Adam Beard celebrates as his country win on South African soil for the first time ever
Pivac said: ‘We came here wanting to create history and we carried the feeling of disappointment and frustration from last week. I think you saw that emotion at the end.
‘It’s going to be another tough, tough game next week in Cape Town.
‘We’ve had two games both come down to the last play and I’m sure it’s going to be another tight contest.
‘As big as that will be, there’s then a very, very big World Cup in 12 months’ time.’