Welsh passion conquers the Samoans

Rugby League

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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy