Sam Davies slotted a last-gasp drop goal as Wales battled to an uninspired 33-30 win over Japan in Cardiff on Saturday.
The Millennium Stadium was treated to a Japanese special, as the Brave Blossoms took the fight to Wales in an absorbing contest. Trailing by seven points with just over five minutes remaining, Amanaki Lotoahea scored before Yu Tamura nailed the conversion to level matters at 30-30.
But the hosts worked their way downfield, giving Davies the opportunity to line up a match-winning drop goal.
Wales now head into their Test against the Boks on the back of two narrow victories, over Argentina and Japan, but much like South Africa, their performances were pedestrian and lacking in quality.
Japan were on the board first, courtesy of two penalties by Tamura. But converted tries by Dan Lydiate and Jamie Roberts ensured the hosts led 14-13 at the break despite conceding a try on the stroke of half-time.
Wales looked to have pulled away early in the second half, as they opened up a 30-23 lead, but Japan fought back well to draw level, before Davies’s heroics spared Wales blushes.
Wales – Tries: Dan Lydiate, Jamie Roberts, Sam Warburton. Conversions: Leigh Halfpenny (3). Penalties: Halfpenny (3). Drop goal: Sam Davies.
Japan – Tries: Akihito Yamada, Kenki Fukuoka, Anamaki Lotoahea. Conversions: Yu Tamura (2), Lotoahea. Penalties: Tamura (3).
Wales – 15 Liam Williams, 14 Leigh Halfpenny, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Alex Cuthbert, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 James King, 7 Sam Warburton (c), 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Cory Hill, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Nicky Smith.
Subs: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Jake Ball, 20 Ross Moriarty, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Keelan Giles.
Japan – 15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Akihito Yamada, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Harumichi Tatekawa, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Shunsuke Nunomaki, 6 Malgene Ilaua, 5 Samuela Anise, 4 Kyosuke Kajikawa, 3 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Satoshi Nakatani.
Subs: 16 Takeshi Hino, 17 Koki Yamamoto, 18 Heiichiro Ito, 19 Uwe Helu, 20 Shuhei Matsuhashi, 21 Yuhimaru Mimura, 22 Keisuke Uchida, 23 Amanaki Lotoahea.
Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images