Wales 43/20 To Falter In Fiji

Rugby Union Preview: Wales 43/20 To Falter In Fiji

2017-06-22
A look at the odds for Friday’s match in Apia.

An inexperienced Wales team is 43/20 to be beaten by Samoa in Apia on Friday and have been warned to expect an “onslaught”.

The Pacific Island nation are looking to bounce back from their 78-0 thrashing by New Zealand when they meet Robin McBryde's side.

Wales are fielding a starting XV which boasts just 151 international caps between them - 92 of those belong to captain and centre Jamie Roberts - and are braced for a physical encounter.

Attack coach Matt Sherratt said: “The Samoan onslaught is going to come. They're a very proud team and nation. A couple of their players are from the PRO12, so we know what they're going to be like.

“They don't play in Apia very often and they'll want to do themselves justice. The first 20 minutes are going to be pretty brutal. Shaun Edwards spoke to the team this week and told the young players they're going to have to be ready for that.

“Samoa are a physical bunch at the best of times, but their defeat to the All Blacks last week and the fact they're playing back in Apia means it's going to be pretty tasty early on.''

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Wales' inexperience in their forward pack means Samoa are sure to target them up front. Rory Thornton, 22, makes his debut at lock alongside 21-year-old Seb Davies.

Another factor for Wales to consider is the conditions. Sweltering temperatures in Apia have been complimented by pouring rain and wet weather is forecast for Friday night's game.

Sherratt added: “The weather is pretty unpredictable here. The forecast each day is both bright sunshine and with rain, I think they seem to hedge their bets a bit.

“We've done a bit of the same and it was obviously poor conditions for the game with Tonga in Auckland. I think we have to prepare for that again.

“In a night game it's usually a little bit greasy and there is rain forecast. We were slapping the sunscreen on before training and then we got drenched, so anything could happen.

“But what we did against Tonga was play the right game at the right time. If we need to against Samoa we'll be ready to play territory.”

Wales are 3/8 to win the match and 22/25 for victory by at least seven points on the handicap.