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."
Ahead of their SSE SWALEC Bowl Final clash with Taffs Well at Principality Stadium on Sunday, Burry Port share their #FABXV nomination with WRUTV in the search for Welsh rugby's greatest volunteers. Everyone can get involved by sending nominations via twitter to @WRU_Community using the hashtag #FABXV
Cardiff Blues prop Gethin Jenkins and Ospreys centre Ben John look ahead to the first game at Principality Stadium in Saturday's double header which is promising to be a special occasion for all Welsh fans.
Carmarthen Quins Director of Rugby Ian Jones and committee member Jeff Thomas along with Llandovery chairman Handel Davies look ahead to Sunday's SSE SWALEC Cup showdown where both teams are out to prove 'West is best'
SWALEC ambassador Shane WIlliams is looking forward to Sunday's Finals Day where the Cup, Bowl and Plate offers a great opportunity for players and teams to experience the magic of playing at Principality Stadium
Carmarthen Quins coach Richard Kelly believes it is an exciting time to be part of the Scarlets region as his side take on local rivals Llandovery in the SSE Swalec Cup final on Sunday, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers
Scarlets long serving prop Phil John talks to WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie about Judgement Day IV and SSE Swalec Cup finals day. The last time Llandovery were in the cup final in 2007, the Drovers claimed the spoils with Phil playing a major role in the engine room.
Meet Aberdare coach Luke Thomas whose #FABXV nomination goes to super volunteer Daz with a whopping 10 things he does for the club each week, all except the ironing! You can also join in the search for Welsh rugby's greatest volunteers, by sending your nomination via twitter to @WRU_Community using the hashtag #FABXV
SSE Swalec Cup kings Pontypridd travelled to Swansea, fully expecting a return to their second home but Llandovery had other ideas as they also sought victory in the semi-final to earn the right to play the final at Principality Stadium