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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wales hang on to beat Samoa at the Millennium Stadium

Wales narrowly beat Samoa 17-13 in a bruising encounter with a tense finale at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Friday night.

Wales scored early thanks to a try by wing Leigh Halfpenny, but the visitors pegged them back in the second half, and scored an intercept try through Seilala Mapasua which brought the scores to within four points.

"We wanted to be more ruthless in our approach, but unfortunately we weren’t," said Wales coach Gatland. "We created a lot of chances and 11 line breaks to their two and should have put the game away comfortably.

"But our finishing simply wasn't clinical enough. We have to learn from our mistakes and in the first-half we kept kicking the ball away.

"We felt physically that if we kept playing with tempo their forwards would struggle and tire later on. It was a very frustrating game and we didn’t get any real momentum going."

"The game should have been out of sight by the time they got their interception try - that was a 14 point try because if he hadn’t have caught it we would probably have scored," said Gatland.

"It was a little bit too close for comfort in the end and we put ourselves under pressure. But we have come away with a win."

Samoa can be proud of their effort, and will head to Paris next weekend on a high as they will take on France.

"The boys can be very proud of themselves for pushing a top tier nation so close," said Samoa captain George Stowers.

"It was a case of so near but our performance showed we deserve more games against the big teams especially after just a few days together.

"For many of us it was the first time we had played Wales so this was a great heads up for where we are against the best teams.

"Against France next week we have to be smart, keep our discipline and play for the full 80 minutes as well as putting in the big hits."

Time: 08:18



  • would've loved to see the islanders pull through but good stuff from them nonetheless

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 14, 2009 11:39 pm  

  • I actually liked watching this game as I thought it was exciting with a lot of running.

    It was annoying that Wales could not finished with a try on several moves but hopefully that will come.

    I'm very happy Jonathan Davies, Warburton and Tom James got a chance to play. I would rather they be developed for the 2011 RWC.

    I thought Hook did well at fullback and started running some nice lines compared to the NZ match.

    Well done to the NH for winning all their game. Good luck to Ireland tomorrow.


    By Anonymous Bowie, at November 14, 2009 11:41 pm  

  • Henry Tuilagi is an animal. Decent game, hook looked sharp, likewise for peel and ryan jones is getting back to his best.
    Andy powell needs to be dropped though.

    By Anonymous WelshOsprey, at November 14, 2009 11:43 pm  

  • brutal game
    the samoans are easily the biggest hitters in world rugby

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 14, 2009 11:46 pm  

  • I really gotta stop coming to this site before I finish watching the games (in the middle of FR-SA, oops...).

    Is it just me, or are Samoans made of concrete? I mean, how many times would a Welsh player be running and just bump into a Samoan and be stopped in his tracks? It was crazy! Even the Samoan backs could stop big Welsh forwards...

    I was disappointed for that yellow card in the first couple minutes. The ref seemed content to let it go, and it didn't seem late to me at all. He fully wrapped his arms, too.

    Hook DID look sharp, especially as he was playing fullback. I guess he's just the next best thing Wales have when Byrne is out? Otherwise, I don't know why they'd stick Dan Biggar in at flyhalf...boy, there sure were a lot of young guys out there for Wales, too. I'm a fan of the way Wales has small and "wiry" little guys at wing - I think they're better at sidestepping than larger guys, and it makes for good runs.

    I gotta say, though, I was rooting for Samoa there at the end. They were so close on a couple of tries and a kick to pulling ahead of Wales....you could tell they were disappointed.

    By Anonymous fry, at November 15, 2009 12:05 am  

  • How can you struggle against Samoa?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 15, 2009 12:29 am  

  • Anonymoussaid...
    How can you struggle against Samoa?

    Put out a small young inexperienced team out, with an average age of 23.
    Thats how.

    Great game with some huge hits

    By Anonymous Dave, at November 15, 2009 12:34 am  

  • 'How can you struggle against Samoa?'

    Sour grapes

    Also bowie, Italy lost....so NH didnt win all....

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 15, 2009 12:36 am  

  • The first yellow was extremely harsh. I found it an entertaining match with alot of cheering at the Tuilagis putting Samoan hits back on the map, the way Alesana murdered Hook was breathtaking to a backrower like me.

    By Anonymous Redron, at November 15, 2009 1:02 am  

  • I really can't believe, after all we have heard about the IRB cracking down on scrums, that the Welsh got away with collapsing the scrum in the last minutes. It was on their try line, they were going backwards and it went down... the welsh props just flopped down to avoid a push-over. A penalty or even a yellow. Until the refs sort this sort of stuff out scrums (16 mins per match 18 scrums and 18 resets on average) are going to be a joke rather than a contest. the BOOING was so disrespectful to the Opposition(Samoa) for a sec there i thought welsh fans got more class then that... shame! :(

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 15, 2009 2:07 am  

  • Samoa full back + yellow card = wales score a try simple as dat.

    YES! they boo Samoa team n their kicker lol some wales fans = idiots

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 15, 2009 2:20 am  

  • The first yellow card, Now that was a joke one of the first thing you get taught is to draw the man and pass, there were later hits during the game that went completly unpunnished by both sides.

    trial by slow-mo, this has got to stop, last week we had Carter, this week the full back. Two minuits into the game and the tv's showing the tackle from every angle slower and slower and the crowd lap it up(reminds me of the romans, if ceasar doesn't like it then nether will we).

    Equal treatment, Are Wales becomeing the new NZ?, how many time have we seen two identical infringments one by Wales and one the opposition and only the opposition one being punished(example samoa 8 pinged for as the ref called it tackler not rolling away, he got to his feet and competed for the ball as he is allowed. Welsh player on his feet competes for the ball even after a ruck is formed and the ref pings for holding on)

    they should boo their own team(wales) for their poor performance

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 15, 2009 2:43 am  

  • Oh yeah I forgot poor old Italy lost.

    "Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Samoa full back + yellow card = wales score a try simple as dat.

    YES! they boo Samoa team n their kicker lol some wales fans = idiots"

    I can't stand the boos that seem to have come into Welsh rugby recently - trust me the vaste majority of the people at the stadium (I was there for Wales NZ) are not booing so DO NOT classify all Welsh fan as idiots. The booers definately are though.

    By Anonymous Bowie, at November 15, 2009 3:12 am  

  • Well played Samoa I think victory was handed to you on a plate but with so little time together you played with passion, spirt and great skill and most of all heart. RESPECT!

    welsh fan :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 15, 2009 3:40 am  

  • I would be shitting my pants if i had to play against samoa.. i'd fake an injury just to get off the field.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 15, 2009 5:47 am  

  • its frustrating to see big but fair tackles from many of the pacific players to be penalised, due to a bad reputation. everyone must agree that if it was any other player they would let it go. i.e dan carter

    By Anonymous zacaria, at November 15, 2009 9:02 am  

  • stephen larkham with his spear tackle on dan carter a while back

    By Anonymous zacaria, at November 15, 2009 9:04 am  

  • Yo RD, youv'e got to get the big hits up from the fiji scotland match especially sean lamonts tackle on nalaga :)

    By Anonymous Hooker_, at November 15, 2009 11:53 am  

  • The booing comes from a small contingent of idiots who only rear their ugly heads when the internationals happen to be being played. The vast majority of them don't know a thing about rugby and the respect that goes with it and the only local teams they support are football-based. They wouldn't even be able to tell you who the head coach of the Cardiff Blues is.

    As a huge fan of rugby, this type of attitude frustrates the hell out of me and has led to me staying at home to watch it with a few beers as opposed to heading to the pub, just so I don't run into these casual armchair fans who are intent on voicing their uneducated opinion and won't listen to reason.

    Please don't tar all us Welsh fans with the same brush because they frustrate us as much they do you =)

    On another note, Samoa deserved to win this game based on their passion to do so alone. For a game to be almost buried with 5 minutes to go and for them to come at us with such vigour and desire to win makes me very jealous that our own players rarely show such passion to win. Well done Samoa.

    By Blogger Luke, at November 15, 2009 12:36 pm  

  • why did wales play in yellow ??
    it just doesnt suit them, especially when they dont need to change shirt, welsh red vs samoan blue woulda been fine!

    By Anonymous luxi, at November 15, 2009 1:26 pm  

  • Yes the booing was terrible, its because the cheaper games at the Millennium Stadium tend to get a lot of kids there i think. In my experience i'm sure welsh fans are generally more respectful.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 15, 2009 1:34 pm  

  • They have to reduce the ticket prices for games like this, the crowds just aren't there for rugby. When that happens you get a ton of kids in the stadium, which then equals booing and stupid horns.

    Rugby, the dying game.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 15, 2009 1:45 pm  

  • Frustrating game for a Welsh fan.

    We engineered half-a-dozen try-scoring chances only to lose them with a spilled ball, sloppy pass or poor option on what should have been the final play.

    Then we let Samoa back in with an intercept and they gave us a scare with their tails up at the end.

    More composure in the opposition 22 and we'd have had a couple more tries and a comfortable win.

    Especially galling was the two intense periods of second half-pressure we exerted which had Samoan forwards panting, only for the first to end with an intercept and the second just peeter out.

    By Anonymous g, at November 15, 2009 3:15 pm  

  • i find it ridiculous that all the press are basically saying 'wales werent at theire best but come away with a win' and then that 'england were dreadful'.
    facts are:
    england beat a significantly better team (than samoa) by MORE points.
    England have had god knows how many injuries yet wales put out (almost) their top side.
    Samoa are EVEN MORE undercooked than Argentina yet wales struggled to beat them.
    its typical 'anti-england' and its ludicrous.
    on a plus note, hook was a class act and moody for england was highly influential.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 15, 2009 3:16 pm  

  • Didnt hear Gatland comment on the refs not wanting to "ref an upset" tonight. Typical.

    The Welsh expect the same luxuries they feel the All Blacks are afforded against them. Funny when the shoe is on the other foot how coaches/refs revert to the same old cognitive dissonance which holds our the smaller teams back every season.

    How many collapsed scrums 5m from their own line does it take for the ref to penalise a Welsh side?

    Samoa scrum marches forward after each put in then a collapse > reset. This happened 3 times in a row - the pressure was on the Welsh but the ref chickens out of penalising them. Why doesnt he ask himself "The Samoans are dominating but the scrum keeps collapsing when they get the shove on - are the Welsh deliberately collapsing to avoid a try? Why would the Samoans deliberately collapse when they are going forward?"

    Such simple analysis from refs goes missed countless times in these matches.

    Funny how he doesnt hesitate to sin-bin Lolo Lui in the 2nd min for a late tackle which any fullback around the world would have committed to in the same situation.

    But hey its those "heavy tackling" Samoans (standard sterotype) and the crowd are baying for blood - better punish them in a way no-one dares against say the Springboks or NZ.

    Rant over, no upset tonight, Gatland keeps his job and reverts to game stats to emphasize the positives.

    Tell ya what Gats, line breaks won't mean shit when you lose another World Cup match and turn to the game stats to save your bacon.

    By Anonymous SomeThingsDontChange, at November 15, 2009 3:54 pm  

  • Wales!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 15, 2009 4:52 pm  

  • Luxi - Wales had to play in yellow as it's part of an agreement with their shirt sponsor and with Under Armour, their kit manufacturer, to play in their away kit at least once a season. Looking at the internationals we have this season, there aren't any teams playing in red so I'm assuming that the management just decided to play the lowest profile game in the away kit to meet their contracted agreement.

    By Blogger Luke, at November 15, 2009 6:01 pm  

  • ouch!

    Playing against Samoa? Bring an extra physio.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 15, 2009 6:31 pm  

  • Great match to watch.

    Have to mention the good un-biased commentary from the Davies'. They praised Samoa just as much as Wales.

    Too bad they were playing on a loose carpet. That pitch is a disgrace for an international stadium.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 15, 2009 6:42 pm  

  • Samoans played really well and looked the better side for a lot of the match, if a little sloppy and disorganised. Jonathon Davies is an idiot, trying to encourage players to stick an elbow into someone's face when about to be tackled (1:54).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 15, 2009 6:54 pm  

  • nz was penalised for collapsing the scrum 5m out.. why wasn't wales? and that yellow card on lolo lui was horrible..

    also, it's not on this highlight, but the stowers was penalised for a high tackle when the runner ducked into an already commited tackler.. cost samoa three points..

    seems like they(irb) have itchy fingers when it comes to pacific islanders... they're quick to pull the trigger

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 15, 2009 7:28 pm  

  • ^^^^ (irb) doesn't get itchy fingers when dan carter short arm's someone.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 15, 2009 10:01 pm  

  • or for that fact the entire nz team.. but its all ok, they are the all blacks.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 15, 2009 10:02 pm  

  • thx luke for the info about wales shirt contract, but i personnally dont like fluorescent yellow on a rugby pitch (pink power's gotta be the best!!)

    lolo lui's yellow card is harsh

    its good to see the samoan sevens players,(lolo lui, uale mai...) the XVs game

    By Anonymous luxi, at November 15, 2009 10:07 pm  

  • two of the welsh line-breaks were because of piss poor defence of junior polu.. he sucks on defence.. reminds me of lome faatau.. another waste of space..

    good job by the rest of samoa though.. i believe since samoa has little time to gel, attacking will be very limited(as displayed in this game).. but one thing that has to be ensured is preventing the other team from scoring.. defence(tackling) should be second-nature to samoans.. and junior polu showed no heart on defence

    go manu!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 16, 2009 3:49 am  

  • Samoan players are among the nicest, calmest people you could ever meet. Away from the rugby pitch, that is. Throw them a ball in a competitive situation and it's as if some kind of explosion occurs inside their heads

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 16, 2009 6:12 am  

  • Just goes to show you how dangerous Samoa could be. If only they had more money to invest in the sport then they would easily compete with the best teams in the world.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 16, 2009 5:58 pm  

  • Just want to add how annoyed I was at the booing as well but at the end of the day, there were a hell of a lot of kids at the game (the type who blow those damn horns) and I fully believe they were mostly responsible for it - they need to learn respect. I can guarantee you wont hear it against Aus as more of the more mature and sophistimacated types will be there.

    By Anonymous Matthew, at November 16, 2009 8:54 pm  

  • As a die-hard manu samoa fan, i was very upset at their performance during the 2007 world cup. They looked like they played with no kind of passion!!

    I thought being professional rugby players made the 07 squad weak and content. I mean now we have the experienced players but sacrificed passion for it.

    So do we pick players from home(who have the passion) or do we select players from europe(experience without passion)?

    Well this past game made selection much more easier for Manu Samoa. The professional players played with the passion that was clearly absent in the 07 squad, although most of the players were the same.

    Was it a coaching issue? Captaincy?

    Either way the the passion and heart of Samoa is back!!

    GO MANU!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 17, 2009 2:02 am  

  • from what i got as far as it looking like hight tackles it seem that every time a wales player runs and sees a samoan tackler they put their heads down while the defender is getting ready to wrap like poor ol beast henry tuilagi looking like hes about to rip someones head off !!!!!!!not bad though for a team assembled together for 5 days.....i reckon if they had the money and at least a full month to prepare like that irish billionaire who owns digicel whos vowed to sponsor and has the cash to pay 30 players it would be a different story1!!!!!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 17, 2009 3:58 am  

  • Shit reffing, Samoa may wel,l have nicked this one without it.
    Yellow was a joke.
    Typical these days though.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 17, 2009 5:26 am  

  • gold jersey?

    they're yellow and ugly as hell..

    why no red jerseys?

    anywho, well played by samoa, but wales just bit to strong (although some great hits by samoa)

    By Anonymous Cheis, at November 17, 2009 12:32 pm  

  • Some decent hits and a decent match. Halfpenny is looking sharp and Hook's improving. Loving Davies commentary re the yellow card 'if you want to stop him doing that just upt your elbow up', thought thw yellow was a bit harsh but reffing has been a bit hit and miss this year...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 18, 2009 11:29 am  

  • does anyone know the name of the song that was played in the stadium when halfpenny scored his try?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 20, 2009 2:07 am  

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