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."
Wales reached their first semi-final since 2013 in the opening round of this season's HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie recaps on what proved to be an eventful tournament
Wales and Ospreys back row James King, who came through the North Wales age grade system, nominated North Wales Regional Community Rugby Manager Marc Roberts, in the WRU's 'Diolch' initiative where squad players thanked those who played a part in their rise to the top.
Beating Merthyr has boosted Carmarthen Quins hopes of reaching a top eight spot in the Principality Premiership. Quins captain Haydn Pugh is delighted with his team's progress and is determined that everyone from the Under 6s through to the senior team, enjoys the ride.
When the Wales squad were asked to nominate individuals who played a big part in their early playing days, Wales and Dragons full back and wing Hallam Amos thought of his former Monmouth School rugby coach John Bevan.
Sam Cross and Luke Treharne have been named as co-captains of the Wales Sevens side as head coach Gareth Williams names his 12-man squad to play in the first leg of the HSBC World Series in Dubai next weekend.
Bedwas head coach Steve Law and players Nicky Griffiths and Alun Rees extol the virtues of the close knit club as they prepare to host third place RGC 1404 - who are one place head of them on the Principality Premiership points table - on Saturday.
Many of the Wales squad have said Diolch (thank you) to someone who played an important part in their early playing days by nominating them to be invited to the Wales v South Africa match. One person, Gowerton Comprehensive geography teacher Mr Dean Mason was nominated by two of his former pupils, Dan Biggar and Sam Davies.
The second WRU disability rugby pilot has been delivered, this time in Caerphilly schools, culminating in a festival at the Caerphilly Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach tomorrow. Plans are in place to set up a Disability Rugby Club in Newbridge to provide long-term playing opportunities.
WRU TV: Hear from inside the Wales camp as Neil Jenkins discusses this weekend's clash with South Africa and how the squad are looking to put in a strong performance to round of the 2016 Under Armour Series