Rugby Union: Samoans are too powerful for Wales: Tour ends with loss

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Western Samoa. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34

Wales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

IF THEIR victory over Wales in 1991 announced their arrival on the world stage then this dynamic win proves Western Samoa are now a major force to be reckoned with.

Once again Wales found the sheer power and physicality of the home side too hot to handle in temperatures that reached 34 C in the shade.

By the end some of the Welsh players were suffering from heat exhaustion, but to their credit none of them flinched in what was once again a bruising battle.

Among three Welsh forwards leaving the field was Phil Davies, who surpassed Graham Price as his country's most capped forward with his 42nd appearance. Ricky Evans and Scott Quinnell limped off in the closing stages.

Wales stood their ground determinedly, survived the big hits and kept coming back for more. Even so the score put the rest of their tour into perspective.

They were able to outmanoeuvre Canada, out-think Fiji and Tonga, but more than met their match here.

The home captain Peter Fatialofa was generous in his praise of the Welsh effort. 'They were much better than in 1991 and we had a few lucky breaks.'

He had a tough time in the front row, and the referee Barry Leask might well have awarded a penalty try against the home pack on more than one occasion, yet the Samoans were so strong in defence, direct and abrasive in attack, that they more than covered up their first-phase deficiencies.

Wales started brightly enough with a third-minute penalty from Neil Jenkins. Having kicked all 18 points in last week's win over Tonga he landed two more first- half penalties to make it 16 successive successful kicks in three internationals.

But opposite him he found in the New Zealand-based Darren Kellett a goal-kicker of equal stature, who helped himself to 19 points to add to the 22 he had kicked in Samoa's win over Tonga earlier in the month.

Kellett matched Jenkins's three penalties in the first half, but the decisive score was a well-constructed kick and chase try by the right-wing Brian Lima.

That meant the home side were 14-9 ahead at the interval and Kellett soon extended that lead with two more penalties as Jenkins's accuracy finally wavered.

Then came the coup de grace as the No 8 Pat Lam conjured up a try out of nothing from the base of a scrum on the Welsh 22.

Kellett converted and then added the extra points to Lima's second try six minutes into injury time.

Western Samoa: Tries Lima 2, Lam; Conversions Kellett 2; Penalties Kellett 5. Wales: Penalties N Jenkins 3.

WESTERN SAMOA: A Aiolupo (Moata'a); B Lima (Marist / St Joseph), T Vaega (Moata'a), F Tuilagi (Marist / St Joseph), T Samania (Moata'a); D Kellett (Ponsonby), V Vitale (Vaiala); P Fatialofa (Manurewa, capt), T Leiasamaivao (Avalon), G Latu (Vaimoso), M Birtwistle (Pukekohe), M Keenan (Pontypool), S Vaifale (Marist / St

Joseph), P Lam (Marist, Auckland), M Iupeli (Marist / St Joseph). Temporary replacement: S Kaleta (Auckland) for Keenan 30-32; Replacements: Kaleta for Keenan 58, D Mika (Marist / St

Joseph) for Lam 76.

WALES: M Rayer (Cardiff); I Evans (Llanelli, capt), A Clement (Swansea), N Davies (Llanelli), W Proctor (Llanelli); N Jenkins (Pontypridd), R Moon (Llanelli); R Evans (Llanelli), G Jenkins (Swansea), J Davies (Neath), P Davies (Llanelli), G Llewellyn (Neath), E Lewis (Llanelli), S Quinnell (Llannelli), R Collins (Pontypridd). Replacements: A Copsey (Llanelli) for P Davies, 45, H Williams-Jones (Llanelli) for R Evans 76; H Taylor (Cardiff) for Quinnell 79.

Referee: B Leask (Australia).