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Page last updated at 21:17 GMT, Friday, 13 November 2009

Wales v Samoa as it happened


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By Julian Shea

It's ok, you can come out from behind the sofa now. The final whistle has gone and Wales have won - just. Restrained celebrations on the pitch at the end by the Welsh, and you can't blame them. The Samoans kneel down for a post-match pray, but it's the men in yellow shirts who should be offering up prayers of thanks after that lucky escape.

2113: Surely they're safe now? Wales boot the ball down the far end of the field to pin the Samoans back, and if they're going to produce anything, it'll have to be very very special indeed.

2110: Wales are there for the taking, and Samoa know it - David Lemi's kick ahead is taken over the tryline by Leigh Halfpenny, five hard scrum it is. How on earth have Wales managed to get themselves in this position? Repeated resets of the scrum, but Samoa win the scrum and with the line begging, captain George Stowers produces a dreadful pass from the scrum. Eventually, Dan Biggar eases the pressure by kicking clear from behind his own goal line. The danger's not gone, but you sense that was their best chance.

2107: Off-side, penalty to Samoa just wide of the posts, but on the 22. Simples, you would have thought? But no - Gavin Williams (playing for Samoa, mind you), misses a sitter. Wales are very lucky at the moment.

2106: OK, is it now time to start panicking? Samoa launch a counter attack but cruciallly Seilala Mapusua's kick-ahead goes too close to the touchline, rather than the try-line, and the Samoans end up fumbling the ball out of play when there was a very good chance indeed to score. A very lucky let-off.

2105: James Hook turns on the speed and launches another great attack from deep in his own half, but as Wales get towards the vital area, the move breaks down and it ends with Jonathan Davies's kick-through going behind.

2056: BBC Sport's Jonathan Davies:
"One interception is all Samoa have had, there's no need for Wales to panic." All factually correct and very good in theory from the safety of the commentary box, but I'd imagine the Welsh players on the pitch probably feel a bit more tense having just seen their lead cut to four points.

2042: TRY WALES 17-13 SAMOA
If you waste your chances, that's what happens. Wales pile on the pressure and set up another attack, but Dan Biggar's unnecessarily long pass is snatched out of the air by Seilala Mapusua, who sprints 80m to touch down under the posts. Fa'atonu Fili's conversion further closes the gap.

2050: Aagh, another one goes begging - Dwayne Peel's pass finds Sam Warburton with acres of space and a clear run on goal, but the youngster fails to take the pass properly and the chance is wasted. Sloppy stuff.

2044: Oh that could have been a superb try - Jamie Roberts' pass finds James Hook on the wing near the half-way line and he charges down towards the tryline, but seems to get confused by too many choices, tries to draw full-back Lolo Lui to allow him to off-load what would surely be a try-scoring pass inside, and he drops the ball as he is tackled by Lui and it all comes to naught. A very rare proper breakaway move there.

Sinbin time and a penalty thrown in too - moments after Samoa are given a final warning for lying on top of the player in the tackle, Henry Tuilagi does precisely that and is sent off to consider the error of his ways for 10 minutes. A penalty for Wales, and Dan Biggar does the business again.

2040: Hats off to the Welsh fans - 58,907 of them have turned out on a wretched night to watch the game. Sadly with half an hour to go, they've already resorted to doing a Mexican wave, surely the ultimate insult to professional sportsmen. We've paid money to see some entertainment, and we're making our own.

2039: Tom Shanklin goes off after taking a bang on the nose, and on in his place comes Jonathan Davies. And the first person on the television commentary team to give an opinion on him is, er, Jonathan Davies. He's a fan - something to do with the name, perhaps?

2035: Fa'atonu Fili tries his luck with a drop goal from a good position but it goes just off-target.

2034: BBC Sport's Sean Davies at the Millennium Stadium:
"The ground staff were busy at half-time, replacing the divots on the turf that has cut up pretty badly again."

He doesn't hang about, does he? Not content with a try right at the start of the first half, Leigh Halfpenny is confident enough to try his luck with a penalty from the half-way line within a minute of the restart - and it goes straight down the middle, as Bing Crosby would say.

Let dressing room cud-chewing begin. After a frantic start (and a try-scoring start for Wales), the game has rather failed to live up to its early promise. OK, but not much more than that really.

2014: Into the final few minutes of the first half, and the scores on the doors show us that Wales have had two-third of the territory and two-thirds of possession so far, apparently, but are still only five points clear. Something to chew over at half-time there.

He's not going to repeat that mistake. Kicking from a slight angle this time, Fa'atonu Fili is on target this time and eats into Wales's lead just before the break. Again he is booed, and full marks to the stadium announcer for pointing out that this is unacceptable behaviour - in English and Welsh, just so the message gets across.

2009: Penalty to Samoa after Andy Powell is penalised for coming in at the side. Fa'atonu Fili's kick drifts harmlessly wide but sadly, not for the first time this evening, the Samoan is booed in the run-up to his kick. Children please note - this is rugby, we don't do that.

2003: A try-saving tackle by Samoa there, and what a tackle it is - Leigh Halfpenny breaks through the Samoan line and offloads to the supporting James Hook, but before he can even get his fingerprints on the ball he is smashed into the ground by Anitelea Tuilagi. It hurt just looking at that one.

2000: No bread-related puns intended, but Sam Warburton is looking rather tasty whenever Wales are on the attack - the youngster's really getting stuck in and not flinching from any challenges.

1954: anonymous via text:
"Following the action from my tent in the Masai Mara via satellite internet. Lions roaring, hyenas whooping in the background. Makes a change to the Millennium!" Ok, that's quite impressive, but I bet you'll have a slightly longer walk to the nearest pub at the end of the game than anyone watching the game at the ground though.

Biggar the boot puts Wales in double figures with his second penalty of the night so far. Rather alarmingly, the pitch is already cutting up like a Victoria sponge, which is surely going to make real running rugby ever-more difficult as the evening progresses.

1950: Wales in yellow shirts - is it me, or does that just look horribly wrong?

1947: Lui's back on the pitch after his trip to the stands and he'll have been glad of the breather if the game continues at this pace.

1944: glittergreenandred on 606:
"Wales will have too much for Samoa, who don't get much time together. Should be by 20 points unless they get too cocky."

1942: anonymous via text:
"Following this from a sunny Sydney. Come on Wales - I need a victory to stop the Aussie crowing!!"

Uh-oh, it's going to be one of those nights. Biggar's kick into the corner is chased by Leigh Halfpenny, who takes the ball superbly, runs through a David Lemi tackle and touches down in the corner. Biggar can't quite manage the afters, but Wales are back in front.

Enjoy that lead? Good, because it's over already. Fa'atonu Fili's penalty restores parity.

OOF! First big hit of the evening, and Dwayne Peel is doing a bit of star-gazing after being thundered into the turf as he offloaded to Sam Warburton, and straight away Samoan full-back Lolo Lui is in the sin-bin. Penalty is taken by Dan Biggar and Wales are ahead.

1931: Game on! Samoa kick off, and the fun starts here...

1930: BBC Sport's Sean Davies at the Millennium Stadium:
"The three remaining hairs on my head just got singed by those pitch-side pyrotechnics. Great atmosphere ahead of kick-off."

1930: Last week it was the haka, this week it's the Samoan wardance that the Welsh have to face up to before kick-off, and it ends with a fierce uppercut. A sign of things to come, perhaps?

1928: unounos on 606:
"Come on Samoa!! Do what you usually do at world cups and transfer it to today... in other words stuff the Welsh!"

1925: Samoa have just taken to the field to the accompaniment of "Enter Sandman" by Metallica - well it's a bit different to Katherine Jenkins, isn't it? Then again, so are most of the Samoan team.

1920: And here are the teams, just in case you'd not seen them earlier.
Wales: Hook, Halfpenny, Shanklin, J. Roberts, T. James, Biggar, Peel, Jenkins, Bennett, P. James, A. Jones, Charteris, Powell, Warburton, R. Jones. Replacements: Rees, Mitchell, B. Davies, Thomas, M. Roberts, J. Davies, Stoddart.
Samoa: Lui, Lemi, G. Williams, Mapusua, A. Tuilagi, Fili,Poluleuligaga, Va'a, Schwalger, Johnston, Levi, Tekori, Stowers, Treviranus, H. Tuilagi. Replacements: A. Williams, Taulafo, Thompson, Fa'amatuainu, Mai, Fa'afili, Esau.
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)

1920: BBC Sport's Sean Davies at the Millennium Stadium:
"There's a decent crowd building up, the WRU having made a good effort to attract the youth and family support. Cue lots of air horns and screams - and old men in rugby blazers wincing with the pain of their shattered environment."

1917: I hope this isn't some sort of omen for Wales's chances tonight but the last time I did a live commentary like this on a Wales game, it was against Fiji at the World Cup. Sorry to bring that up - but at least if there is a repeat of that then you're in for an entertaining evening.

1910: BBC Sport's Sean Davies at the Millennium Stadium
"I made it through the storms and shattered brollies to get to the stadium, passing Samoa fans wading through Westgate Street in their sandals. They weren't quite prepared for the conditions, not sure about their team… but then again we've got the roof closed! After our previous history against the islanders, shouldn't we be seizing every chance we get?!"

1900: Good evening. All set for the action under the Friday night lights? Considering what the weather forecast is like, I think rugby fans have got the good part of the deal - just think what it will be like for the football fans at the Wales v Scotland match tomorrow sitting out in all that wind and rain.

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see also
Wales 17-13 Samoa
13 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Evans issues warning to Wales
13 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Biggar sends 10 warning to Jones
11 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Warburton told to forget Williams
12 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Howley backs Peel to show class
11 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Peel recalled for 70th Wales cap
10 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Wales must 'nail' the key moments
10 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Samoa collision excites Williams
10 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Tsunami to motivate Samoa players
10 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union
Stowers leads Samoa against Wales
11 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union
Wales 12-19 New Zealand
07 Nov 09 |  Welsh
The bone-rattlers: Samoan rugby
04 Aug 09 |  Rugby Union
Coming up next on Scrum V...
03 Nov 08 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
Rugby union on the BBC
05 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union

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