Wales edge Samoa in Apia

Wales made it two wins out of two in their June internationals as they came from behind to defeat Samoa 19-17 at Apia Park on Friday.

Two tries from Steff Evans proved the difference while Sam Davies slotted three penalties as the Samoans came up just short at home.

Alapati Leiua and Maatulimanu Leiataua did cross for the islanders but they couldn't bounce back from last week's loss to New Zealand.

Conditions were difficult in Apia following a heavy downpour but it didn't stop Samoa from opening the scoring inside four minutes when wing Leiua slid over on the right after a long cut-out pass. Tusi Pisi was on-target from the touchline as Samoa went 7-0 in front.

Wales couldn't get their hands on the ball early on and when Pisi landed a penalty on 11 minutes, they were 10-0 down and deservedly so.

Soon after, however, they got on the board through the reliable Davies with his first of three first-half penalties, this one from range.

The Ospreys fly-half further reduced the margin on 20 minutes following an offside from the hosts, who now led 10-6 in a momentum swing.

Try-scoring opportunities were few and far between at this point, with only another Davies shot troubling the board going into the break.

That all changed after the turnaround though as, like Samoa in the first, Wales struck early. The try came thanks to back-row Aaron Shingler charging down Pisi's attempted clearing kick and from the recycled ball, quick hands from prop Dillon Lewis allowed Evans to dive over.

Despite Davies being unable to add the two due to the width of a post, Wales did have the lead for the first time at 14-10 to the good.

Their advantage didn't last long in Apia as a smart run from scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'i through a ruck led to hooker Leiataua going over wide on the left. With fly-half Pisi's touchline conversion, despite his slip while striking, the Islanders were back in front at 17-14.

Samoa missed the chance to make it a six-point advantage on 65 minutes as Pisi was wayward with a difficult penalty after a maul collapse.

And it came back to haunt them with six minutes remaining as sustained pressure on the Samoan line again led to quick hands out to wing Evans, whose rich vein of form continued with his second try of the contest. Despite Davies' missed conversion Wales held on to win 19-17.

The scorers:

For Samoa:
Tries: A Leiua, Leiataua
Cons: Pisi 2
Pen: Pisi

For Wales:
Tries: Evans 2
Pens: S Davies 3

Samoa: 15 D’Angelo Leuila, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Rey Lee-Lo, 11 David Lemi (c), 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Fata Alafoti Faosiliva, 7 Galu Taufale, 6 Piula Faasalele, 5 Faatiga Lemalu, 4 Chris Vui, 3 Paul Alo-Emile, 2 Maatulimanu Leiataua, 1 Viliamu Afatia 
Replacements: 16 Seilala Lam, 17 Nephi Leatigaga, 18 Bronson Fotualii-Tauakipulu, 19 Faifili Levave, 20 Vavae Tuilagi, 21 Dwayne Polataivao, 22 Henry Taefu, 23 Tila Mealoi

Wales: 15 Gareth Anscombe, 14 Cory Allen, 13 Tyler Morgan, 12 Jamie Roberts (c), 11 Steffan Evans, 10 Sam Davies, 9 Aled Davies, 8 Josh Navidi, 7 Ellis Jenkins, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Rory Thornton, 4 Seb Davies, 3 Dillon Lewis, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Nicky Smith
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Adam Beard, 20 Thomas Young, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Scott Williams

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)

Comments