Wales say thank you Samoa

By Emily Dunn ,

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WHAT A NIGHT...FOR WALES: Images from the Manu Samoa vs Wales test match at Apia Park on Friday night.

WHAT A NIGHT...FOR WALES: Images from the Manu Samoa vs Wales test match at Apia Park on Friday night. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

Having previously never beaten the Manu Samoa side on their home turf in Apia, Wales were over joyed with Friday night’s performance and the final score.

Captain Jamie Roberts knows that it was a hard fought win and acknowledges that luck was in their favour. 

“The bounce of the ball went out way, but it could have easily not,” he said. 

The close match saw two evenly pitted teams battle it out, and Roberts would like to congratulate the Manu Samoa on their performance. 

He attributes the team’s success to their intensive training which ensured strong combinations of players and well established strategies. 

“Today was about the effort of the squad, they worked hard off the ball and chased kicks,” he says. Having only formed four weeks ago, the captain pays tribute to the teams ability to unite in such short circumstances, “those lads have gelled superbly”. 

The fresh faces of Wales will undoubtedly be pleased to have given that all important performance that will help them to advance their careers with the Welsh national team in the future. 

For a number of players, the Lions call ups provided the perfect opportunity to showcase their talent. Roberts was elated to have the team gain 13 new caps during the tour.

WHAT A NIGHT...FOR WALES: Images from the Manu Samoa vs Wales test match at Apia Park on Friday night.
WHAT A NIGHT...FOR WALES: Images from the Manu Samoa vs Wales test match at Apia Park on Friday night.
WHAT A NIGHT...FOR WALES: Images from the Manu Samoa vs Wales test match at Apia Park on Friday night.
WHAT A NIGHT...FOR WALES: Images from the Manu Samoa vs Wales test match at Apia Park on Friday night.

He encourages the young players to reflect over the summer on what a momentous occasion the entire tour, and Friday night in particular was. “It’s a huge privilege to tour here and most of these players won’t get the opportunity again.” The Welsh team made history in Apia, securing their first ever victory in the capital. 

Coach Andy McBryde was part of that 1994 squad that fell short of the mighty Manu Samoa, so he speaks of the honour of returning and finally bringing home a win in his change of role. 

He also spoke of the clear advancement of the Samoan sporting society. “Considering all the rain we’ve had in the last few days, for that pitch to stand up was fantastic. I think Samoa should be congratulated on the stage they have set here tonight.”

He also took the opportunity to thank the Samoan people for their unprecedented hospitality and fantastic show of support at the stadium despite the poor weather. “Id encourage anybody to come on tour here,” he added.

Roberts said there will always be a special place in his heart for Samoa. 

“Samoa is a country that prides itself on rugby, like Wales.” He found the privilege of captaining a winning team in such a prestigious location over awing, “this has certainly been one of the most enjoyable tours of my career, to captain Wales is a huge honour for me.”

Coming back from 10 points down and struggling against a strong Samoan start, Roberts would like to congratulate his team on their hard earn victory and also thank Samoa for a terrific match. 

In such a close match every moment counts and giving everything they had in those last 6 or 7 minutes is something the ten has trained hard on, “I think that the training has paid off” Roberts added. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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