Samoa 17-19 Wales: Steff Evans gets two tries in narrow win

Samoa v Wales
Samoa (10) 17
Tries: Leiua, Leiataua Cons: Pisi 2 Pens: Pisi
Wales (9) 19
Tries: Evans 2 Pens: S Davies 3

Steff Evans scored two tries as Wales twice came from behind to beat Samoa in difficult conditions on the final game of their summer tour.

Alapati Leiua's try gave Samoa the lead but three Sam Davies penalties brought Wales within a point at the break.

Wing Evans' first international try put Wales ahead after 42 minutes, only for Manu Leiataua to restore Samoa's lead.

Wales rallied and Evans' second try eight minutes from the end clinched the victory on a slippery pitch in Apia.

It was Robin McBryde's team's second win on the two-Test tour, which saw them start without 12 players on British and Irish Lions duty in New Zealand and saw a further four called up by Warren Gatland before the Samoa game.

It was revealed afterwards that Wales won despite having 10 players taken ill before the match with a sickness bug.

Ospreys lock Rory Thornton was handed his Wales debut in a side which showed seven changes from the one which had started in the previous week's 24-6 win over Tonga.

Samoa made six changes and a positional switch after a 78-0 defeat by New Zealand in Auckland.

The hosts made the perfect start when following a period of pressure Bath scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'i floated a pass to Leiua, who crossed in the corner with Tusi Pisi adding the conversion.

Samoa made life hard for Wales in difficult and wet conditions and a Pisi penalty extended their lead.

Steff Evans scores his second try for Wales against Samoa
Steff Evans scores Wales' winning try in Apia

Two penalties from fly-half Davies calmed the tourists' nerves as they clawed their way back into the game.

Despite trailing, Wales had a measure of control and Davies' third penalty brought them within a point of the hosts at the break as Pisi failed with a drop goal attempt.

Wales went ahead for the first time within a minute of the second half with a try created by back row forwards Aaron Shingler and Ellis Jenkins.

Shingler charged down Pisi's low kick and from Jenkins' kick and chase the ball was played out to the left wing, where Scarlets' Evans was on hand to cross.

Samoa restored their lead with hooker Leiataua capitalising on sloppy Welsh defensive play to slide over for his side's second try before Pisi added the extras.

Kahn Fotuali'i prepares to kick for Samoa against Wales
Ex-Ospreys scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'i had a hand in both Samoan tries

But Wales secured victory in the last quarter of the game with Evans, last season's top try scorer in the Pro12, crossing in the corner for a second time.

Wales had lost four times to Samoa before this meeting, and they had to withstand a late onslaught before claiming a sixth win over the Pacific Islanders.

Squad hit by sickness bug

Wales coach Robin McBryde revealed a sickness bug swept the Wales camp, with ten players taken ill before the match.

"We've had a little bit of an illness in the camp and the players could have used that but they dug in so deep," McBryde revealed to BBC Wales Sport.

McBryde proud of Wales win in Samoa

"I'm just so pleased for the players. It's been such a difficult tour in such a short space of time.

"We put ourselves in a very difficult position. We were 10-0 down early on and Samoa didn't disappoint," he continued.

"We knew they would be physical and get stronger and they did that.

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

Wales: Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues); Cory Allen (Ospreys), Tyler Morgan (Dragons), Jamie Roberts (Harlequins, capt), Steffan Evans (Scarlets); Sam Davies (Ospreys), Aled Davies (Scarlets); Nicky Smith (Ospreys), Ryan Elias (Scarlets), Dillon Lewis (Blues), Seb Davies (Blues), Rory Thornton (Ospreys), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets), Ellis Jenkins (Blues), Josh Navidi (Blues).

Replacements: Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Wyn Jones (Scarlets), Rhodri Jones (Ospreys), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Thomas Young (Wasps), Tomos Williams (Blues), Owen Williams (Gloucester), Scott Williams (Scarlets).

Samoa: D'Angelo Leuila; Alapati Leiua, Kieron Fonotia, Reynold Lee-Lo, David Lemi (capt); Tusi Pisi, Kahn Fotuali'i; Viliamu Afatia, Maatulimanu Leiataua, Paul Alo-Emile, Chris Vui, Faatiga Lemalu, Piula Faasalele, Galu Taufale, Fata Alafoti Faosiliva.

Replacements: Seilala Lam, Nephi Leatigaga, Bronson Fotualii-Tauakipulu, Faifili Levave, Vavae Tuilagi, Dwayne Polataivao, Henry Taefu, Tila Mealoi.

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa).

Assistants: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Rohan Hoffmann (Australia).

Wales v Samoa - the complete story
14 June, 1986 — Western Samoa 14-32 Wales (Apia Park, Apia)external-link
12 November, 1988 — Wales 28-6 Western Samoa (National Stadium, Cardiff)external-link
6 October, 1991 — Wales 13-16 Western Samoa (National Stadium, Cardiff)
25 June, 1994 — Western Samoa 34-9 Wales (Moama, Apia)
14 October, 1999 — Wales 31-38 Samoa (Millennium Stadium, Cardiff)
11 November, 2000 — Wales 50-6 Samoa (Millennium Stadium, Cardiff)
13 November, 2009 — Wales 17-13 Samoa (Millennium Stadium, Cardiff)
18 September, 2011 — Wales 17-10 Samoa (Hamilton, Rugby World Cup)
16 November, 2012 — Wales 19-26 Samoa (Millennium Stadium, Cardiff)
WRU members go on a community visit in Apia before their match against Samoa


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