Wales overcome sickness to beat Samoa

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 04:14
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REACTION: Wales players had to overcome a debilitating virus sweeping their camp to beat Samoa, coach Robin McBryde revealed Saturday.

More than 10 players were said to have been stricken by the bug in the lead up to their 19-17 win on a muddy pitch in Apia on Friday.

Several players, including captain Jamie Roberts were sick on the sideline at half-time in the match.

"You can't underestimate the situation we were in here in Samoa," McBryde said.

"Conditions were poor for both teams and we've had a little bit of illness in the camp. The boys could have used that as an excuse, but they dug in so deep. I'm just so pleased for the players,"

Steffan Evans' two second-half tries and three penalties by Sam Davies secured the win to give Wales back-to-back victories after beating Tonga 24-6 the previous week.

Samoa's points came from tries to Alapati Leiua and Manu Leiataua and the boot of flyhalf Tusi Pisi.

"We put ourselves in a very difficult position. We were 10-0 down early on and Samoa didn't disappoint. We knew they would be physical and get stronger and they did that," McBryde said.

"We didn't help ourselves on a couple of occasions, but the way the boys dug in and got through the arm wrestle was fantastic,"

With the bulk of the Wales squad in New Zealand on duty with the British and Irish lions, the starting XV against Samoa contained just 151 caps of which 92 belonged to captain and centre Roberts.

"For an inexperienced front five to go up against a fully loaded Samoan pack was impressive," McBryde added.

"The half backs controlled things in that weather and we left a few tries out there. We could quite easily have scored before half time and the boys had the luxury of making a few mistakes and still winning as well. We're delighted."

Agence France-Presse