Player Ratings: Painting Bloem Red
OPINION: Wales levelled the Series with a narrow 13-12 win over the Springboks in Bloemfontein.
The victory is Wales’ first-ever win on South African soil.
Trailing 3-12 with just minutes on the clock, a late try by Josh Adams followed by Gareth Anscombe’s conversion handed the historic win to Wales.
It was far from a classic display, however, it was a great result for Wayne Pivac’s men, who kept their hopes of winning the Series alive.
Check out the Welsh players’ ratings.
15 Liam Williams.
Delivered some good work under the high ball, but yet again failed to impress on on attack. He made a huge hit on Jesse Kriel which is bound to make the highlight reels. He also put in some good kicks.
14 Louis Rees-Zammit,
Unlike last week, when the wing became the first Welsh player to score two tries against the Springboks in South Africa, this weekend his chances were limited. He looked very dangerous when he managed to get the ball.
13 George North,
A quiet outing for the centre as he struggled with the physicality of Andre Esterhuizen. He made a noteworthy hit on Kurt-Lee Arendse in the second half but could not find his rhythm on attack.
12 Nick Tompkins,
Despite a shaky start, the centre was the standout performer in his team’s backline. He was constantly looking for work and tried to get involved on attack which is a positive for any coach.
11 Alex Cuthbert,
The wing started the game with a great take under the high ball but had to leave the field after just 16 minutes of play.
10 Dan Biggar (captain),
His kicking from the tee was horrendous and he failed to take command of the test. Nonetheless, he showed great bravery when he made a tackle on a charging Joseph Dweba in the first half. The flyhalf’s early departure is a big concern – leaving the field with what appears as a shoulder niggle.
9 Kieran Hardy
His box kicks placed the Boks under pressure in the opening minutes. Aside from being caught off-guard by the Springbok counter ruck on one occasion, the scrumhalf’s service from the base was good. He was replaced at half-time.
8 Taulupe Faletau,
His set-piece was troubling – knocking the ball on two occasions at the line-outs. However, he did make up for it with some strong carries and solid defence. Not one of his best performances, but the No.8’s presence proved to be valuable against the Boks
7 Tommy Reffell,
Yet again the 23-year-old delivered another incredible performance. Playing in only his second Test for Wales, the flank added the brute and power to the pack. He was a menace at the breakdown, he made a couple of crucial turnovers, including the vital turnover on Marcell Coetzee.
6 Dan Lydiate
The flank was a beast, he made 18 tackles and did not miss one. He kept the Springbok loose trio extremely busy.
5 Adam Beard,
He worked tirelessly. Despite not getting any chances to carry, he made loads of tackles and was crucial at stopping the Boks’ maul.
4 Will Rowlands,
Can’t fault him for his effort. However, the lock failed to make an impact with his carries. He also conceded his team’s first penalty.
3 Dillon Lewis,
He held his own in the scrums against Thomas Du Toit and delivered yet another solid performance. Had to make a couple of carries before making way in the 66th minute.
2 Ryan Elias,
For some South African fans, the hooker found himself lucky to be on the field after he escaped punishment for a head-on-head collision with Joseph Dweba. He struggled with one or two line-out throws. Nonetheless, it was not all bad ashe proved to be a handful in open play and also pounced on a loose ball in the first half, which prevented the Boks from charging over the line.
1 Gareth Thomas.
Unlike last week when he dominated Frans Malherbe, the prop was challenged by Trevor Nyakane and conceded a scrum penalty. However, he eventually found his feet and was solid.
16 Dewi Lake (on for Elias, 50th minute)
Just like Elias, the replacements also struggled with line-out throw-ins. He tried to get into the match and made a couple of noteworthy carries.
17 Wyn Jones (on for Thomas, 50th minutes)
His presence added stability to Wales’ scrums.
18 Sam Wainwright (on for Lewis, 66th minutes)
Playing in his first match for Wales, the replacement had a good introduction. He won a penalty and scrum against the Boks’ bombs squad.
19 Alun Wyn Jones (in for Rowland, 55th minute)
For the second week in a row, the British and Irish Lions star was handed a yellow card.
20 Josh Navidi (on for Lydiate,59th minute)
Not much of an impact, but he made no errors and was part of the late onslaught.
21 Tomos Williams (on for Hardy, 40th Minute)
He filled the boots of Hardy well, despite not utilizing the box kicks that much. His passes were effective.
22 Gareth Anscombe (on for Biggar, 50th minutes)
Cool as ice, the replacement kicked over the conversion for the win, while his pass also set up Josh Adams for the only try of the match.
23 Josh Adams (On for Cuthbert, 16th minute)
The wing again showed what a great finisher he is, scoring his 20th try and second against South Africa.