Heartache and Humiliation
November 17, 2012
Wales' Alex Cuthbert struggles to comprehend his side's latest defeat to Samoa © PA Photos
Wales' shock defeat at the hands of Samoa at the Millennium Stadium is not the first time that the hosts have been humbled by one of the sport's supposed lesser lights.
We have trawled the archives for some similarly embarrassing defeats for the principality and famous days for some of rugby's minnows.
Wales 24-26 Canada
The 1980s and the early 1990s was not a vintage period for Welsh rugby - a fact underlined by this home defeat to the Canucks. Tries from lock Alan Charron and centre Ian Stuart laid the foundation for the win with fly-half Gareth Rees also winning the battle of the boot with Wales' Neil Jenkins. Wales, who had picked up the Five Nations wooden spoon earlier in the year, boasted a fair amount of talent in the likes of Ieuan Evans, Scott Gibbs and Scott Quinnell on debut.
Fiji 38-34 Wales
Wales were sent crashing out of the 2007 World Cup by Fiji in an extraordinary nine-try encounter in France. The Welsh ran in five of those scores but came out on the wrong end of the result thanks to a gutsy showing from their rivals. Wales had never lost to Fiji in eight previous encounters but on this day the Islanders were insatiable and unstoppable and eventually rewarded with a World Cup quarter-final berth. Wales packed their bags and coach Gareth Jenkins did too soon after.
Wales 13-16 Western Samoa
Wales were left stunned by Western Samoa on their own patch during the 1991 Rugby World Cup in one of the greatest upsets in the tournament's history. Centre To'o Vaega and flanker Sila Vaifale crossed for tries with the familiar names of Frank Bunce, Brian Lima and Pat Lam also in their line-up. Arthur Jones and Ieuan Evans notched tries for Wales but it was not enough to avoid a painful defeat that prevented them from making it out of their pool. The legendary match also spurned the famous quip: "Thank heavens Wales weren't playing the whole of Samoa".
Wales 31-38 Samoa
When Wales did play the 'whole of the Samoa' at the 1999 World Cup they suffered a similarly stunning defeat. Two tries from fly-half Stephen Bachop and further scores from lock Lio Falaniko, inspirational flanker Pat Lam and fullback Leaegailesolo propelled the Samoans to a thrilling victory over the co-hosts. Wales had enjoyed an impressive run of results heading into the tournament under coach Graham Henry and were on a run of 10 straight wins - including victories over South Africa, England and France - but were undone by a Samoa side that had played its previous pool game against Argentina just four days earlier.
Wales 9-15 Romania
Wales struggled for much of the 1980s to live up to the highs of the successes of the previous decade with a third place finish in the 1987 World Cup the clear highlight. In contrast, Romania enjoyed a golden period in their history that included two victories over Wales. The Oaks' first success came on home soil in the 1983 but they back that up with victory in Cardiff five years later with a try from hooker Gheorghe Ion and the kicking exploits of fly-half Gelu Ignat seeing them home. The match would be Jonathan Davies' last in the Wales No.10 shirt before making a high-profile switch to rugby league.
Wales 12-26 Argentina
Maybe not as shocking a result as the others featured here given Argentina's status as a Tier 1 nation, but still a significant upset. Wales went into the game having claimed a Six Nations Grand Slam earlier in the year but they had little answer to a battle-hardened Pumas side that had clearly benefited from its elevation in the Rugby Championship. Eleven years to the day following Argentina's only previous victory over Wales in Cardiff, second-half tries from wings Juan Imhoff and Gonzalo Camacho left the Welsh reeling once again.
Wales 16-16 Fiji
Wales entered the game looking to erase the memory of their painful World Cup exit three years ago but in the end only narrowly escaped another embarrassing defeat. A penalty from fly-half Seremaia Bai with the last kick of the game gave the brave tourists a deserved share of the spoils after a keenly-fought but error-strewn match. Fiji looked on course for another famous victory after battling to a 13-6 half-time lead thanks largely to a try from centre Albert Vulivuli. But Wales fought their way back into the contest after the break and a penalty try and the boot of replacement fly-half Stephen Jones appeared to have rescued the result only for Bai to claim due reward for his side.
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