Stats review of Wales’ victory over South Africa

Wales kicked off their summer tour with a late victory over South Africa in Washington DC as Tomos Williams stole the show on his Test debut.

Wales kicked off their summer tour with a late victory over South Africa in Washington DC as Tomos Williams stole the show on his Test debut.

The scrappy affair saw Warren Gatland’s men prevail 22-20 at the Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in their first game since finishing runners-up in the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations.

Hallam Amos and Williams touched down in the first half as Wales took an 11-point lead into the break, but the Springboks responded with tries from debutants Travis Ismaiel and Makazole Mapimpi.

Replacement Robert du Preez kicked South Africa into a 20-17 lead with five minutes left on the clock, but Ryan Elias’s late try secured the win for Wales at the death.

Here’s a rundown of some of the key statistics from the historic Test clash, which provided Wales with a warm-up for their upcoming tour to Argentina.


The young scrum-half announced himself on the international stage in some style, scoring his first try by breaking two tackles from five metres out to wriggle over the whitewash.

He also completed 44 passes – the second most on the pitch – and made five runs in an accomplished attacking performance, while never forgetting his defensive duties.

As well as scoring one try, Williams set up the match-winning score by charging down two kicks in the closing minutes to present Elias with the chance to dot down.


Having earned his sixth cap for Wales in their final NatWest 6 Nations game against Italy earlier this year, Ellis Jenkins had the honour of leading his country out against the Springboks.

And the openside clearly relished the opportunity, replicating the form that saw him play such an integral role in Cardiff Blues winning the European Challenge Cup.

The 25-year-old made 17 tackles against South Africa, with only Ross Moriarty (18) bettering his tally, while he also won several crucial turnover penalties.


All the stats from the game suggested there should only have been one winner – and it wasn’t the men in red.

Wales only had 39 per cent of possession and 37 per cent territory, while their scrum and lineout success was also inferior to their opponents, who had 100 per cent in both.

However, it proved irrelevant in the end. Wales remained solid defensively, making 115 of 129 tackles, and they took advantage whenever they had the ball to land the telling blows.


With Wales’ regular fly-half Dan Biggar rested for the summer tour, Gareth Anscombe was given a prime opportunity claim the shirt for himself ahead of next year’s NatWest 6 Nations.

The fly-half ran the most metres (58) and showed the odd bright spark in attack, but other areas of his game did not meet those high standards.

He missed five tackles, his passing was not always accurate and he only had a 50 per cent kicking success – slotting two conversions and one penalty.