Bennett out to re-write history
September 15, 2011
Bennett admits that Wales face a mammoth task against Samoa © Getty Images
Wales are going all out on Sunday looking to bury their painful previous encounters with Samoa in the World Cup.
Samoa claimed victories over Wales during both the 1991 and 1999 tournaments, each time in Cardiff. And although fly-half Stephen Jones is the sole 2011 squad survivor from events 12 years ago, it serves as a reminder of how dangerous a team Samoa can be.
"We haven't got the best of histories against Samoa in the World Cup, which is something we are looking to eradicate," Wales hooker Huw Bennett said. "It's a massive game for us.
"They did really well against Australia earlier in the summer, so they are running with some good form. They bring a lot of passion, a lot of physicality and some flair as well. You haven't got to be a rocket scientist to know what Samoa are going to come at you with."
Wales coach Warren Gatland will name his team for the Pool D showdown tomorrow, with few, if any, changes expected following last weekend's agonising 17-16 loss to world champions South Africa.
But Jones and prop Gethin Jenkins, who have both been sidelined by calf muscle injuries, could feature in the matchday 22. Bennett added: "It was obviously a bitter pill to swallow not gaining the win (against South Africa), but we can't mope around about the loss.
"You look back on it and it does bring back thoughts of 'if only'. But you have got to make it happen and at the end of the day we lost. We have got ourselves in a situation where we neeed to win all our games. We've put it to bed now and we are fully concentrated on our task against Samoa."
Meanwhile, Shaun Edwards believes Wales have had ideal preparation for Samoa after meeting the South African juggernaut head on. "There were a lot of positives that came out of the South Africa game, and we've had praise from various aspects of the media, but we are not about that," Wales's defence specialist said. "We lost the game. We went into the game expecting to win, we lost by one point and that is really peeving the lads. They are pretty determined to front-up this week.
"We know we are in knockout rugby. We can't afford any mistakes, there are no second chances now. Attacking-wise, they (Samoa) like to offload the ball. They are big powerful men, similar to the South Africans, and it is important we keep up our tackle percentage on Sunday. It is about us performing on the day. Hopefully, we will get the job done."
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