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Wales player ratings vs South Africa | 2nd Test July 2022

By Will Owen
Kieran Hardy of Wales during the 2nd Castle Lager Incoming Series test match between South Africa and Wales at Toyota Stadium on July 09, 2022 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. (Photo by Charle Lombard/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

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Wales player ratings: Test One was heartbreaking for Wales. After leading for virtually the entire match, it came down to a last-gasp Damian Willemse penalty to crush Welsh souls. For the second test, Jacques Nienaber rolled the reserves and Wayne Pivac stayed very much the same. Wales, out of nowhere, sensed an opportunity.

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After a turgid first half, Wales found themselves 12-3 down, only to nick it with a last-gasp Josh Adams try and Gareth Anscombe conversion. A difficult game to analyse, but after last week’s heartbreak, today was a good day to be a Wales fan.

15. Liam Williams – 6.5
Wales’ fullback introduced Jesse Kriel to the hurt arena early on, coupled with some trademark highball takes. Put in a few good kicks.

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14. Louis Rees-Zammit – 7
Rees-Zammit always gets around the park and today was no exception. Put in some decent kicks, which was as much as you can ask for when presented with little space.

13. George North – 6
Had a quiet first half but got a few more touches in the second. Looked great whenever he found space, but was well-marked by Esterhuizen and Kriel.

12. Nick Tompkins – 8
Gave away a couple of early penalties, but sorted his game out after that. Played virtually every role – centre, winger, flanker, fullback, scrum-half, you name it.

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11. Alex Cuthbert – 6
Parachuted into the team for Josh Adams, Cuthbert started the game with a fantastic take on a Kieran Hardy bomb. Sadly had to go off early.

10. Dan Biggar – 5.5
Always in the thick of things, Biggar’s spirit showed when he put in a difficult tackle on a rampaging Joseph Dewba. Put in a few good kicks, but struggled to really dominate the test as he has done in past.

9. Kieran Hardy – 8.5
Arguably Wales’ best player while he was on. Tactically superb and almost flawless from the boot. Unfortunately went off at half time.

1. Gareth Thomas – 8
South Africa evidently did their homework on Thomas but he hung in there at scrum time, even winning a penalty at the end of the first half, and one against the giant Vincent Koch in the second half.

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2. Ryan Elias – 6.5
Won a crucial turnover in the first half to prevent the Boks from powering over. Aside from one or two skew throws, very solid at set piece.

3. Dillon Lewis – 7.5
Lewis, once again, dig deep at scrum time. His opposite number Thomas Du Toit didn’t have his best day, but Lewis deserves some credit. Another huge shift from the prop.

4. Will Rowlands – 7
Rowlands had a strong first half, but was unfortunately the first player to give away one of many penalties that gifted South Africa momentum.

5. Adam Beard – 6
Quiet by his standards, but typically excellent in stopping the Bok maul from applying early pressure.

6. Dan Lydiate – 8
King Chopper himself was on fine form this afternoon. Huge tackle count, and dominant virtually every time. Huge at the breakdown, too.

7. Tommy Reffell – 8
Won a mega turnover to save Wales on the half hour mark, and another on 65 minutes to give his team a sniff. A great find for Wales.

8. Taulupe Faletau – 7.5
Even when he isn’t dominating a game, Faletau’s skills are invaluable to Wales. Even when the set-piece isn’t firing, Faletau can make it look like his props are on fire.

REPLACEMENTS

16. Dewi Lake – 7
Lake is relishing his weekly tussle with Malcolm Marx. Carried excellently. Good performance bar one skint throw.

17. Wyn Jones – 6
Didn’t get many opportunities around the park but stood up well in the scrum.

18. Sam Wainwright – 6
Only had two involvements – one being winning a penalty, and the other being holding a crucial scrum in the final play. Kudos to the debutant.

19. Alun-Wyn Jones – 4
Jones didn’t read the new directive against watching a ball roll out of a ruck, so he once again found himself in the sin-bin.

20. Josh Navidi – 5
Didn’t make much of an impact, but made no errors.

21. Tomos Williams – 8
Williams’ talent never fails to impress. Filled the boots of Hardy well in the second half.

22. Gareth Anscombe – 9
Really helped Wales move forward. Arguably turned the game, and nailed the match-winning conversion at the death.

23. Josh Adams – 7.5
Was a very mechanical winger all game, but stood up when it counted. Scored the winning try, which is exactly what you pick your wingers to do.

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