|South Africa (3) 12|
|Wales (3) 13|
|Try: Adams Cons: Anscombe Handles: Biggar, Anscombe|
Wales made history by beating the Springboks in South Africa for the first time with a dramatic victory in Bloemfontein.
Substitute Gareth Anscombe produced a brilliant touchline conversion in the 79th minute after Josh Adams had scored the only try of the game.
South Africa, with 14 replacements, looked to be cruising to victory with four penalties from Handre Pollard.
But the deciding match of the series will be held in Cape Town next Saturday.
South Africa have promised to bury Wales in the series in Bloemfontein, a place that has been described as a graveyard for opposition sides.
And Wales certainly looked dead and buried as they trailed 12-3, but they fought back heroically and put the ball away for their only real attempt at a goal.
Anscombe, standing in for injured Wales captain Dan Biggar, kicked the conversion to complete the turnaround.
It was a disjointed attack from Wayne Pivac, but they didn’t care.
Defensive efforts from Dan Lydiat and, most notably, man of the match Tommy Raffel allowed the tourists to stay in touch with the Springboks before late drama saw them win their 12th Test in South Africa.
South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber sparked controversy when he announced his squad, making 19 changes to the 23rd matchday from the team that won the first Test by three points.
Wales great Sir Gareth Edwards was one of the critics of South Africa’s approach to selection, believing that it is disrespectful to tourists.
The Springboks vehemently denied this and insisted they were not a B team, a phrase no one used in the Wales camp.
But only Lock Eben Etzebet remained from the opening side of the first Test as he earned his 99th cap.
Two uncapped players, Bulls wing Kurt-Lee Arendse and Stormers number eight Evan Roos started, while four others came off the bench.
In contrast, Wales made one change to the starting line-up, with winger Alex Cuthbert replacing Adams, who dropped to the bench.
It was the first international match in four years in Bloemfontein since England visited and played in front of a full house.
Propagandist Trevor Nyakane promised South Africa would be silent bullies and hurt their opponents, but Wales made the perfect start.
South Africa were penalized from the start and Biggar kicked three points.
The Springboks responded with a neat move from Warwick Gelant, almost releasing Arendse to score.
Desperate Welsh defending stopped the try but illegally and Pollard equalised.
South African hooker Joseph Deuba was penalized for a tackle only for Biggar to fire a long-range effort before Pollard missed a similar effort.
Cuthbert’s day ended early as he cut a frustrated figure leaving the field to be replaced by Adams.
Key errors crept into Wales’ game, but their resistance was once again evident, with Elias and Refel suffering crucial defensive losses as the score went in at 3-3 at half-time.
Wales changed their scrum-half at half-time with Thomas Williams replacing Hardy, while South Africa introduced the front-row duo of Malcolm Marks and Vincent Koch.
Pollard scored his second penalty to put the home side ahead and 35-year-old Deon Fourier became South Africa’s oldest player to make his debut before Pollard scored his third penalty.
Wales captain Biggar was finally forced off with a shoulder injury after several bouts of treatment, Anscombe came on.
The Springboks beat Wales, who were again penalized for indiscipline, but this time Pollard shot wide.
Wales lock replacement Alan Wyn Jones was booked for the second consecutive game by referee Angus Gardner for what was allegedly a cynical professional foul.
Wales’ players were surprised by the decision and asked the on-field officials to consult with the TV match official, but the call stood.
Pollard’s fourth penalty gave South Africa nine points before Dylan Lewis added to Wales’ list of serious head injuries as he withdrew with a hand injury to join Thomas Francis, Samson Lee and Leon Brown in the side.
That allowed Saracens’ Sam Wainwright to make his international debut as Anscombe converted a penalty to put Wales ahead before conceding another strike.
Prostitute replacement Dewey Lake struggled to find his jumpers on the line-out, stopping Wales from building up the pressure.
After Test rookie Wainwright was awarded a vital penalty in the scrum, Wales finally gained possession from a crucial line of attack which eventually allowed Adams to cross into the left corner.
Up lifted Anscombe to score the match-winning conversion and this time Wales held on to write a new chapter in their history on a day when Ireland won in New Zealand and England beat Australia in Brisbane.
South Africa: gelants; Arendse, Krill, Esterhuizen, Fassi; Pollard (Captain) Henrikse; T du Toit, Dweba, Nyakane, Etzebet, Ori, Coetzee, P-Steph du Toit, Russ,
Replacements: Marx, Mchunu, Koch, Nortier, Elstadt, Fourie, Williams, Willems.
Wales: L. Williams; Rees-Zammit, North, Tompkins, Cuthbert; Biggar (capt), Hardy; Thomas, Elias, Lewis, Rowlands, Lydiate, Refel, Faletow.
Replacements: Lake, Wyn Jones, Wainwright, Alan Wyn Jones, Navidi, T Williams, Anscombe, Adams.
Officials of the match
Judge: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Matthew Carley (England), Andrea Pierdi (Italy)
TMO: Brett Cronan (Australia).