VIDEO: Samoa upset Wales in Cardiff 26-19
Saturday 17 Nov 2012 10:36 a.m.
By Andrew Baldock
Shambolic Wales slumped to a demoralising 26-19 defeat at the hands of Samoa just eight days before tackling the world champion All Blacks.
Humiliation awaits against New Zealand unless Wales - World Cup semi-finalists only 13 months ago - can summon up a monumental recovery following successive home losses against Argentina and Samoa.
The Six Nations title holders leaked tries to Samoan fullback Fa'atoina Autagavaia, centre George Pisi and reserve back Jonny Leota, while Pisi's brother Tisi kicked 11 points in a game where the lead changed hands six times.
Fullback Leigh Halfpenny booted four penalties for the hosts and a conversion of centre Ashley Beck's 80m interception try, but Wales have now suffered five successive defeats and appear clueless in many areas.
Their demise is alarming, and although their New Zealand head coach Warren Gatland will return to mastermind next week's preparations after being away on British and Irish Lions preparatory business, Wales seemingly have little hope of troubling either New Zealand or Australia seven days later.
They also suffered two more injuries, to hooker Richard Hibbard and first five-eighth Dan Biggar.
Wales fielded just five survivors from the countries' last meeting at the World Cup 14 months ago, including only two forwards - prop Paul James and No.8 Toby Faletau.
Samoa, whose team comprised 11 players from British and French club sides, never took a backward step and dominated the contact through aggressive tackling.
Their scrum gained ascendancy in the second half and lively halfback Kahn Fotuali'i was named man of the match.