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'Samoa a wounded animal'

20 June 2017 National Sport


Last Updated: 20/06/17 9:17am

Wales coach Robin McBryde has warned his Wales squad against complacency ahead of Samoa clash

Wales coach Robin McBryde has warned his Wales squad against complacency ahead of Samoa clash

Wales head coach Robin McBryde has warned his team to be wary of a “wounded animal” when they face Samoa in Apia on Friday.

The Pacific Island nation were hammered 78-0 by the All Blacks in Auckland after watching Wales kick-start their two-Test tour with a 24-6 victory over Tonga.

Defeat to New Zealand was Samoa’s first game in five weeks and they are sure to be much better on home soil than they were at Eden Park.

A wary McBryde said: “Samoa are a wounded animal after their scoreline against the All Blacks.

Samoa succumbed to a heavy 78-0 defeat against New Zealand on Friday

Samoa succumbed to a heavy 78-0 defeat against New Zealand on Friday

Samoa succumbed to a heavy 78-0 defeat against New Zealand on Friday

“They were very competitive for the first 20 to 30 minutes of that match before falling away, so I’m sure in front of a home crowd they will want to set the record straight.

“We know they will be a different proposition on Friday night buoyed by their home supporters.”

Wales arrived in Apia on Sunday evening and will name their team to face Samoa on Wednesday.

Temperatures for Friday’s game are expected to nudge 30 degrees, and McBryde has challenged his young team to adapt quickly and return home with two victories.

Wales handed out eight debuts as they saw off Tonga 24-6

He said: “There has been a bit of an edge in training and the boys don’t want to miss out on an opportunity. That makes for a very competitive environment.

“Training has been excellent. The Samoan people are very welcoming off the pitch, but as previous experience has shown once they cross that white line they’re a different animal.

“It’s going to be a big challenge for us. We have to make sure too that we know we’re here to play rugby on Friday and get the win. That’s the aim, not to just enjoy the sun.”

McBryde faces a selection headache. The loss of Gareth Davies, Kristian Dacey, Tomas Francis and Cory Hill to British and Irish Lions duty – plus the injury withdrawal of wing Alex Cuthbert – has left him needing to replace five men who started against Tonga.

Forwards Ryan Elias, Wyn Jones and Rory Thornton are all expected to come into the starting XV, while Aled Davies is set to replace namesake Gareth at scrum-half.

Either Cory Allen or Keelan Giles will take Cuthbert’s spot on the wing after the Cardiff Blues man suffered shoulder ligament damage.

Allen is leading the way after replacing Cuthbert at half-time against Tonga.

Highlights of New Zealand’s crushing victory over Samoa at Eden Park

McBryde said: “Yes we’ve lost four to the Lions and unfortunately Alex Cuthbert to injury, but what that does is make everybody realise there’s an opportunity to get into that starting team.

“It’s brought us a bit tighter together and everybody realises there’s more of an opportunity for them.

“They will be difficult conditions in a hostile environment on Friday and not many people are giving us a chance. We want to show what we can do and make the most of the opportunity.”


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