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Rugby World Cup in 1991: Wester Samoa Handwales A Class | Live Rugby Match Pack
Demeaning loss is often described as a shocking experience, but Welsh Rugby was so deep that it was more like a case of slip. Since the 1987 World Cup, when they came third, Wales had been overrunning into the football world. Twenty-two games between 1988 and 1991 saw them beat England (once), Western Samoa (once) and Namibia (twice) at a time so severe that some, Gerald Davies in the Times among them, called into question whether the demise was final.
" The Welsh side has undergone nine changes since a 12-day, 63-6 routine on the Australian World Cup round, but only one warm-up was set up. There was a certain naiveté in dealing with the play, a deficiency of preparedness that was unthinkable today, but also unpardonable in 1991.
Wales leader Bob Norster later acknowledged that his men had been playing into the Samoans' hand. "The Samoans, driven by their expulsion from the first World Cup four years ago, were tearing Wales apart in both physical and emotional terms. Wild stapling, inspire by the study of football division techniques and often high, but within the law, Wales fought back again and again for more than an hours.
Although well-known players such as Pat Lam, Frank Bunce, Brian Lima and Stephen Bachop were on Westsamoa's list of teams, they did not have enough of their own experiences at the time. However, more than half of the crew was stationed in New Zealand, among them the skipper, property master and specialized pianist Peter Fatialofa. An astonished Wales managed to survive the 3-3 half.
Welsh half of the scratch came to the pitch first, but French ref Patrick Robin whistled and gave a try when everyone was expecting a 22-metre drop-out. Although the match was decided incorrectly, a 9-3 advantage was no more than Western Samoa earned. After this lesson, Western Samoa began to fatigue.
Vaea's later penalties brought the scoring to seven points, and when Ieuan Evans gave it a try in stoppage time, it didn't mean anything. "About the Samoans' first attempt, he said: "In Western Samoa, 15,000 spectators had followed the game on a huge big canvas, despite the kick-off at 1 a.m. there.
In the middle of the week, they defeated Argentina 16-7, but were beaten 38-3 by Australia the following week, so that they could not make it to the quarter-finals. West Samoa brought the greatest of smiles to the 1991 World Cup, except in the principalities.