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."
As the countdown continues for RWC2015, Tournament Chief Executive Debbie Jevans visited the Millennium Stadium to discuss preparations for the eight matches and reveal the positive news that 100,000 tickets for games at the home of Welsh rugby have sold in the last seven days.
Jason Harries is targeting a first win on the World Series circuit this season with Wales. The series returns to action this weekend in Dubai where Harries is part of a team hoping to build from its efforts in round one in October.
Wales skipper Jevon Groves says his side have addressed a few points from Gold Coast and aim to 'hit the ground running' in the next two rounds of the World Series, kicking off with this weekend in Dubai before heading off to South Africa next week.
Wales Sevens manager Steff Thomas is hopeful his side can build from a quarter-final spot in the opening round of the World Series in Australia when his side take part in the forthcoming double header in Dubai and South Africa.