Shane Williams scores the try which knocked the stuffing out of Samoa.
Good things come to those who wait, and ok, the wait for Wales head coach Warren Gatland might have taken an eternity, but he eventually got the late birthday present he wanted - a win against Samoa.
Both sides didn't disappoint - we knew it was going to be an immensely tough battle. Samoa are very physical, and it was a tough game for us
Gatland's birthday was on Saturday but it was a day later he got the most cherished gift in the world when he guided his side to a memorable 17-10 victory on his home patch to make the win taste even sweeter.
Gatland's visit to Hamilton didn't appear to be heading for a happy return at halftime when his side were 10-6 behind against the rampaging South Sea Islanders, but Wales overturned the deficit to remain on course for the knock-out stages.
"I thought we showed some great character," said Gatland after Wales' first World Cup appearance in his home town. "A few years ago, or 12 months earlier, we might not have won that game. We will dissect the performance over the next couple of days and see where we can improve.
"In the first half, we tried to play a bit too much rugby, but our whole World Cup was about going out in that second half and digging deep. And they did that.
"I thought our conditioning was great. The longer the game went on, the stronger and fitter we looked. We knew this was a must-win game, and (a quarter-final place) is in our own hands isn't it?"
Wales had plenty left in the tank as the match reached its climax, but the Samoans, who only had four days turnaround after playing Namibia, visibly wilted as Wales turned the screw in the dying minutes.
There are a couple of injury concerns as key back James Hook and dynamic flanker Dan Lydiate didn't make the second half with shoulder and ankle injuries respectively.
"(Lydiate) has rolled his ankle. He was a big loss to us defensively," said Gatland. "The number of tackles he makes, he's a player that doesn't get a lot of recognition. He cannot put any weight on (the ankle) so we will see in the next 24 to 48 hours."
Captain Sam Warburton paid tribute to the defensive effort put in at the coalface by his players. "I don't think you can fault the attitude of the players," said Warburton, who dedicated Wales' win to the families of four miners killed at Gleision Colliery near Pontardawe earlier this week.
"I think at half-time there was no panic. We knew we had the fitness levels to take it to 80 minutes. We said if we lost the chances are we were probably going home, so there was a lot of pressure on the boys.
"Both sides didn't disappoint - we knew it was going to be an immensely tough battle. Samoa are very physical, and it was a tough game for us.
"We wanted to keep the ball in play as much as we could and back our fitness levels towards the end of the match.
"Leigh (Halfpenny) came on and added some great momentum to the side, and Shane finished it off as we've seen him do a million times before. If our backs get a sniff, they are pretty handy."
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The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.