Belfast Telegraph

Monday 24 November 2014

Gatland wants more of the same

Warren Gatland
Warren Gatland

Warren Gatland believes Wales will take momentum with them into Sunday's critical World Cup clash against Samoa.

The Wales coach has predictably named an unchanged team after his players pushed world champions South Africa to the brink of defeat in Wellington last Sunday. It is the first time since 2006 that Wales have retained the same starting XV in successive Tests.

Their 17-16 loss to the Springboks means they are now in a knockout situation, knowing another defeat would effectively dump them out. Gatland said: "We were extremely disappointed to lose last week against the Springboks. But we did maintain momentum, with aspects of the performance providing a host of positive points to take into Sunday against Samoa."

He added: "We have regrouped and the players are looking forward to getting back out on the pitch to largely pick up where they left off last weekend.

"There are one or two areas we know we need to work on, but we are looking for much of the same from all involved. We could not fault the effort, passion and commitment of the players last week, and we have simply said we are looking for the same again against Samoa."

Wales will make their first World Cup appearance in Gatland's home town of Hamilton. During his playing career, Gatland made 140 appearances for Waikato and coached them to Air New Zealand Cup success five years ago.

"Samoa are going to have a lot of support, as will Fiji when we come back to play them in the final game of our pool," he added.

"But we are hoping some of the Waikato people will be getting behind Wales as well.

"We played there on our summer tour of New Zealand last year and I told all of the players what to expect then. We all really enjoyed the experience and the welcome we had in Hamilton."

Samoa opened their World Cup campaign with a 49-12 success against Namibia and have made one change from that game, with blindside flanker Ofisa Treviranus replacing Taiasina Tuifua.

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