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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 September, 2003, 11:08 GMT 12:08 UK
1991: W Samoa 16-13 Wales
World Cup group match, 6 October 1991
National Stadium, Cardiff

There have been darker days in Welsh rugby since, but at the time 6 October, 1991, was by far the darkest.

Richie Collins tries to pick holes in the Welsh defence
Western Samoa 16
Tries: Vaega, Vaifale
Con: Vaea
Pen: Vaea (2)
Wales 13
Tries: A Jones, I Evans
Con: Ring
Pen: Ring

Somehow one of the proudest rugby nations in the history of the game came unstuck against a hugely unfancied Western Samoan side.

When the final whistle went, the Welsh came off the field at Cardiff Arms Park and one of rugby's more famous quips was made - "Thank heavens Wales weren't playing the whole of Samoa".

The result meant Wales, who had finished third in the previous World Cup, failed to even make it out of their group.

Looking back now, the Samoans clearly boasted a talented line-up, with Apollo Perelini, Frank Bunce, Brian Lima and Pat Lam in their midst.

But Bunce was already in the twilight of an impressive career, while the other three had an average age of 22 at the time.

From the moment the game kicked off, the Pacific Islanders, in what was their first ever World Cup, lived up to their reputation as hefty tacklers.

Every time Welsh half-backs Robert Jones and Mark Ring tried to launch fresh attacks, they were immediately pegged back, as Samoa knocked the stuffing out of them.

To'o Vaega scored the first of Samoa's two tries, while Sila Vaifale.

Arthur Jones and Ieuan Evans both hit back with tries of their own by the more reliable boot of Mathew Vaea over that of Mark Ring, as well as some superb Samoan defence, sealed the unlikeliest of victories.

The match, won by a country with barely 2,000 players, remains one of the biggest upsets in rugby World Cup history.


Western Samoa: Andrew Aiolupo, Timo Tagaloa, To'o Vaega, Frank Bunce, Brian Lima, Stephen Bachop, Mathew Vaea; Vili Alalatoa, Stan To'omalatai, Peter Fatialofa, Mark Birtwistle, Mat Keenan, Apollo Perelini, Sila Vaifale, Pat Lam

Wales: Tony Clement, Arthur Jones, Scott Gibbs, Mike Hall, Ieuan Evans, Mark Ring, Robert Jones; Laurance Delaney, Ken Waters, Mike Griffiths, Phil Kay, Kevin Moseley, Richie Collins, Emyr Lewis, Phil Davies





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