Welsh passion conquers the Samoans
Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.
Monday 16 October 1995
reports from Swansea
Wales 22 Western Samoa 10
Wales yesterday earned a Halifax Centenary World Cup semi-final meeting with England on an emotionally charged night at a packed Vetch Field.
It was the match it had always promised and threatened to be; the fiercest if far from the fanciest of the tournament. The tally of sin-bins for the whole competition was doubled and there was the World Cup's first serious toe-to-toe fighting.
Wales relished the wild, fiery flavour of it all, facing up to Samoa's war dance and to everything else they threw at them, finishing the sort of convincing winners that would make any side think twice about trying to intimidate them. If they can recapture this mood at Old Trafford on Saturday, there is no saying what they might do.
With Kelvin Skerrett waging war from prop and the rest of the pack following his lead, Wales consistently drove the Samoans back in the early stages. Tia Ropati was sin-binned for preventing a quick play-the-ball and even when Jonathan Davies skewed his penalty wide, it still led indirectly to Wales taking the lead.
Samoa were forced into touch by Wales' tigerish tackling and, from the resulting scrum, the full-back Iestyn Harris came charging into the line, threw one of his perfect sidesteps and slid under the sticks. This time Davies was on the mark, but missed another penalty.
Samoa had far less of the play, but drew level after 19 minutes. Sam Panapa did the damage, dropping off a short pass to send Vila Mataupia thundering over, Schuster adding the goal.
Three minutes later Wales struck again from a scrum. As soon as the ball emerged from the pack Davies was kicking deep down field for Anthony Sullivan on the right wing. Sullivan had too much pace for Bryan Laumatia and scored magnificently, Davies marking his return to his kicking groove with a good conversion.
Two penalties from Schuster, against one from Davies, kept Samoa within four points at half-time, but their discipline let them down badly after the break. Not only did they concede far too many penalties, culminating in Des Maea becoming their second man to spend 10 minutes on the sideline, they also attempted far too many impossible passes, which almost invariably went to ground and allowed Wales to continue to pile on the pressure.
Maea's high tackle on Allan Bateman, after Davies had put over a drop goal, allowed the Welsh captain the penalty to give his side a seven-point margin.
Wales had a scare when Willie Poching went over their line, but Panapa's pass was clearly forward. The match was made safe in the last five minutes, the calm young Harris slotting over a drop goal while the Samoans were looking for Davies.
On the edge of injury-time, Rowland Phillips, hugely effective as a second-half substitute, got a one-handed pass away for Ellis to score.
The Vetch, and even some of the hundreds locked out, was already on its feet and planning the route to Old Trafford.
WALES: Harris (Warrington); Sullivan (St Helens), Bateman (Cronulla), Devereux (Widnes), Hadley (Widnes); Davies (Warrington), Ellis (North Queensland); Skerrett, Hall (both Wigan), Young (Salford), Moriarty (Halifax), Quinnell (Wigan), Eyres (Leeds). Substitutes: Cowie (Wigan) for Skerrett, 53; Phillips (Workington) for Moriarty, 55; Skerrett for Cowie, 64; Cunningham (St Helens) for Hall, 76.
WESTERN SAMOA: P Tuimavave (North Harbour); Schuster (Halifax), Ropati (Auckland), Tuigamala (Wigan), Laumatia (Cronulla); Panapa (Salford), Swann; Sollmona, Poching (all Auckland), Afoa (Penrith), Tatupu (Auckland), Matautia (St Helens), Tuimavave (Auckland). Substitutes: Vagana (Auckland) for Afoa, 35; Perelini (St Helens) for Solomona, 50; Maea (Auckland) for Matautia, 53; Elia (Albi) for Swann, 57.
Referee: R Smith (Castleford).
Photograph, reports, page 26
Latest in Sport
The Premier League is about earning the right to play on the counter-attack - Danny Higginbotham
Chelsea vs Crystal Palace: Alan Pardew seems to be building something special down at the Palace
John Stones to Chelsea: Next season's bumper TV deal means clubs such as Everton can say 'no'
Kevin De Bruyne: Why do Manchester City put such a high value on a player Chelsea rejected?
David De Gea to Real Madrid: Manchester United to 'make goalkeeper suffer' before deciding his fate as Real prepare £29.3m bid
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...