Closing montage from Heineken Cup final


Courtney Lawes crunches Charlie Hodgson


Tony Brown takes big hit from Pakalani


Huge hit by Tonga in Pacific Nations Cup


Eddie Butler on Jonny Wilkinson career


Tameifuna's huge hit on Michael Hooper


Carlos Spencer & Stephen Larkham fight


Barbarians too good for England XV


England beat Baby Boks in JWC2014 final

Friday, November 13, 2009

Samoa upset Wales in 1991 & 1999

Samoa upset Wales in 1991 & 1999

Samoa take on Wales at the Millennium Stadium tonight in what should be an intriguing match that's filled with intensity and no doubt, the occasional bruising hit. Wales will be favourites, but right of the Samoans at your peril, as the Welsh found out in both 1991 and 1999.

The 6th of October 1991 was, at that time, by far the darkest day in Welsh rugby history. A country rich in rugby culture and respected and feared in the seventies particularly, the proud nation of Wales was taken totally off guard by the under-dog Western Samoan team.

It was a World Cup pool match at Cardiff Arms Park which Wales fully expected to win. The result meant that they failed to make it out of their group.

The Western Samoans did boast the likes of Apollo Perelini, Frank Bunce, Brian Lima, Stephen Bachop, and Pat Lam, but were still a largely unknown factor in their first ever World Cup.

After the match, there was a famous remark made that went something like "Thank heavens Wales weren't playing the whole of Samoa."

In 1999, history repeated itself as Wales once again went down to the South Sea Islands, who were then competing solely as Samoa. It was the World Cup again, and Wales were the hosts, so after the last two failures, they were determined to do better.

Graham Henry was coach, and Rob Howley captain.

"Whilst everything was pretty rosy, the Samoan team that day had Va'aiga Tuigamala and Pat Lam playing for them, along with Graham Bachop who had actually been coached by Graham Henry," Howley said.

"In the Samoan game they did a job on our ball-carrying players and we could not create any forward moves at all because we were relying on those particular players."

Wales lost the match 38-31, and the Samoans picked up yet another World Cup win over a great rugby nation.

So while tonight it isn't the World Cup, and Wales are still the favourites to win the encounter, they'll no doubt be a little more wary of the hard hitting Samoans than they were back in '91, and '99. It should be another cracking match.


Time: 03:16

Posted at 3:42 pm | 31 comments

Viewing 31 comments

Ted November 13, 2009 3:28 pm

It seemed at the time a new power might be emerging but I'm afraid the Pacific Islands will always lose their best players to other nations...

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Anonymous November 13, 2009 3:33 pm

So while tonight it isn't the World Cup, and Wales are still the favourites to win the encounter, they'll no doubt be a little more weary of the hard hitting Samoans than they were back in '91, and '99.

All this uploading must be making you weary RD I think you meant to say wary!(another interesting video by the way keep up the good work)

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Anonymous November 13, 2009 3:37 pm

cheers for reminding us lol

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Anonymous November 13, 2009 4:32 pm

nice to see some of brian limas other skills apart from his awesome defence

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Anonymous November 13, 2009 4:43 pm

Ouch, as a Welshman not my favorite RD upload ever...

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YIKES!!! November 13, 2009 6:30 pm

I thought NZ was the unluckiest team in rugby world cups.

But Wales has lost three times to underdog Pacific island teams. Twice to Samoa and once to Fiji.

Now Wales plays both these teams in the next world cup...YIKES!! But I'm sure they'll be fully prepared.

Only two more hours til kickoff. Can't wait. Wales to win

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YankeeRugger1776 November 13, 2009 8:05 pm

Hey RD, I remember reading that Canada also upset the Welsh in 1991, is that correct? If so, would there be any footage of that?

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Anonymous November 13, 2009 8:10 pm

yeah what a day for rugby it will be ..THE BIG HITS CRACKING TACKLERS pacific nations Fiji Samoa and Tonga playing A side also all touring the north.PLUS counting NZ/Austarlia/S aFRICA /Agentina grand slam of southern nations ...here we come!

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YIKES!!! November 13, 2009 9:18 pm

Wow, Wales barely escaped another upset

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ian November 13, 2009 9:19 pm

just watched the new game..
absolutely amazing ending.. so close.

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Anonymous November 13, 2009 9:26 pm

great game to both teams! Samoa looking good!.. very impressive

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Anonymous November 13, 2009 10:27 pm

With barely only three days of training against a team who have already played a test and been training for three weeks. You have to say that Samoa did pretty good..

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Anonymous November 13, 2009 11:18 pm

The problem was that Gareth Thomas (then with hair) failed to do the "Ayatolla" after he scored.

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Anonymous November 13, 2009 11:19 pm

you cant underestimate the pacific island teams. in 2003, Samoa were close to beating ENGLAND and Fiji should have beaten scotland. In the 2007 RWC Tonga and Fiji gave South Africa a really good game. Both teams were close to winning i recall. I also remember Tonga only needing a draw against ENGLAND to knock them out in the group.

The pacific island teams make rugby great.

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islandstylin' November 13, 2009 11:41 pm

aww shucks.. 17-13 to the welsh!! close one samoa but we needed a little more composure.. just one errant pass short of another upset :(

regroup because the french are on fire right now!! but as history shows, manu samoa doesn't do well after great performances.. here's to rewriting history!!!

GO MANU!!

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Anonymous November 14, 2009 12:40 am

Henry Tuilagi is a fucking machine.

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HM November 14, 2009 1:16 am

Were the rules on eligibility relaxed for W. samoa and the Pacific islands (may be the Islands were an exhibition side like the Baa-Baas?), because I'm 99% certain that Bunce and Bachop both played for the All Blacks, which would normally stop you playing for any other senior international side, correct?

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SomeThings DontChang November 14, 2009 2:09 am

Didnt hear Gatland comment on the refs not wanting to "ref an upset" tonight. Typical.

The Welsh expect the same luxuries they feel the All Blacks are afforded against them. Funny when the shoe is on the other foot how coaches/refs revert to the same old cognitive dissonance which holds our the smaller teams back every season.

How many collapsed scrums 5m from their own line does it take for the ref to penalise a Welsh side?

Samoa scrum marches forward after each put in then a collapse > reset. This happened 3 times in a row - the pressure was on the Welsh but the ref chickens out of penalising them. Why doesnt he ask himself "The Samoans are dominating but the scrum keeps collapsing when they get the shove on - are the Welsh deliberately collapsing to avoid a try? Why would the Samoans deliberately collapse when they are going forward?"

Such simple analysis from refs goes missed countless times in these matches.

Funny how he doesnt hesitate to sin-bin Lolo Lui in the 2nd min for a late tackle which any fullback around the world would have committed to in the same situation.

But hey its those "heavy tackling" Samoans (standard sterotype) and the crowd are baying for blood - better punish them in a way no-one dares against say the Springboks or NZ.

Rant over, no upset tonight, Gatland keeps his job and reverts to game stats to emphasize the positives.

Tell ya what Gats, line breaks won't mean shit when you lose another World Cup match and turn to the game stats to save your bacon.

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Bill November 14, 2009 2:31 am

Samoa got done over by the ref against Wales last night, they could have won it otherwise.

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Anonymous November 14, 2009 6:56 am

yeah also that penalty against stowers' tackle.. the welsh guy CLEARLY ducked into stowers!! maybe we should all duck into a samoan tackle and get some points out of it!! but we risk getting knocked out.. lol

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Nico November 14, 2009 6:57 am

@YIKESL LoL

Yep, seems that Wales struggles against the Pacific Islands (the game against Fiji in the WC2007 is one of my favourite games of the past 10 years).
It'd be interesting to see some stats Wales vs. the PI. Are the apparent struggling and the massive upsets relatively recent (>1990) ?

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Anonymous November 14, 2009 11:44 am

What have the tuilagi's been eating?

They're huge.

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Anonymous November 14, 2009 12:12 pm

The guy at the end of this video looks rather like Jerry Collins. Did he ever play for Samoa?

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Huh!! the 3rd November 14, 2009 12:57 pm

I think Collins is of Tongan heritage. I was watching France SA game on RTE and forgot all about Wales/Samoa being on BBCWales. Still though can't complain. Rugby overload, which is awesome.

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Anonymous November 14, 2009 1:03 pm

Jerry Collins is samoan, he and umaga are cousins.

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BONECRUSHER November 14, 2009 1:53 pm

@ Anonymous - Blond head top guy that looks he has the same haircut as "Jerry Collins" is actually Samoan Hooker, Trevor Leota who had some massive bone crunching tackles throughout his career playing for Samoa, Wasps in England from 1997-2004 (I think) and even was chosen to play for Barbarians in 2001.

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Anonymous November 14, 2009 4:04 pm

"Bill said...
Samoa got done over by the ref against Wales last night, they could have won it otherwise."

Done over?? They had about 5 chances to wrap the game up in the last ten minutes but constantly cocked it up. That grubber was awful, he only had to chip it over.

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Anonymous November 14, 2009 9:43 pm

What a weird and wonderful weekend of Rugby. Wales unconvincing against Samoa, All blacks unconvincing against Italy, England unconvincing against Agrentina and France beating SA. The Aussie vs Irish game will be interesting.

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Anonymous November 14, 2009 9:48 pm

da only reason welsh kept droppin those balls is because they fear da Samoan ferocious tackle... da whole game was more like tackle practice 4 da Samoan...lol but Samoa had their chances too they missed 3 penatly kicks n da grubber kick fr mapusua wit 2 Samoa players on da outside... n da ref shouldve/couldve/wouldve award dem wit da penatly try at da last 2min of da game... wales kept droppin da scrum... OH n watz up wit da BOOING da Samoa team n their kicker??? so disrespectful those damn welsh fans..haha

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Greiffel November 14, 2009 10:46 pm

@ HM, yes the rules were different back then. It wasn't specific to Samoa though. At that stage you could play for more than one country if you achieved residency.
It happened with a few players in Test rugby actually. Australia at one stage had Tiaan Strauss captain them, after he'd finished a decent career with the Springboks. Patricio Noreiga, legendary Argentinian prop, also played for them.

Michael Jones, Stephen Bachop, and Frank Bunch (and possibly some others) have all played for Samoa and NZ.

Nowadays, once you're capped for a country once, that's it.

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Anonymous November 16, 2009 12:12 pm

That clip needed Lam's long try!

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