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Robin John’s Travel Diary

Monday, 19 Sep 2011

Location: Hamilton, New Zealand

MapWales vs Samoa, 18 Sept - Match Report
To reach Hamilton in time for the afternoon kickoff, I flew from Wellington, along with several other Welsh supporters. I was met at the airport by Bev and Kevin, who generally looked after me through the day and walked me to the ground, along with other members of their family. (Bev and Kevin are neighbours of Warren (Wales Head Coach) and Trudi Gatland.) There was a great atmosphere at the ground, which was almost full, with lots of colourful supporters for both teams (see photos).
The game was a must-win affair for Wales, having lost the opening game against South Africa. Conditions were good, dry and sunny after heavy morning rain. It was a scrappy game, with no clear pattern and many handling errors. Wales' lineout did not function well throughout the game. However, the Welsh defence was again resolute, giving no room for the Samoan heavy runners - Alesana Tuilagi did not have much impact on the game. With one try apiece, Wales achieved the win, thanks to a superior penalty count, including one which bounced in off the cross-bar. The Wales performance was not very convincing and they will need to do much better against Namibia next weekend in order to match Samoa's bonus points.
In the coming week, I am headed to New Plymouth for the next game, and hoping to do more mountain walking en route, around Mount Taranaki.