WALES v SAMOA (Friday, KO 7.30)
FAILURE is not an option against Samoa this Friday night when Wales bid to redeem themselves with a victory after their Argentina debacle, says lock Ian Evans.
For the home side, it’s a must-win match after being booed off the Millennium Stadium pitch, lucky to get away with just a 26-12 battering at the hands of Los Pumas.
Ospreys lock Evans, outstanding in this year’s Grand Slam triumph, was not his usual imposing self against the tough South Americans and was yesterday still feeling the bitter pain of that defeat.
“It doesn’t feel much better two days on – it’s the same as it was when the final whistle went on Saturday,” the 28-year-old said.
“That’s not very positive, I know, but the only way to rectify these things is by putting them right on the field – and we get that chance on Friday night. We have to redeem ourselves.”
Evans, set to win his 25th cap at the Millennium Stadium on Friday, thinks everyone in Wales tends to be a harsh critic but admitted some of the flak after the weekend may be justified.
“I think that’s what happens – most of Wales writes you off if you lose one game, from heroes to zeroes and all that,” he said. “When you live in Wales and are lucky enough to play for the national team, you quickly realise that everyone has an opinion.
“Whether you agree with what they are saying or not, everyone is entitled to a view. We know how people are feeling outside the group, and they are probably right over certain aspects. We just have to stand up and show why we are Six Nations champions.”
Evans added: “Failure isn’t an option. We have put ourselves under pressure and we have to win. However we do it, we need to get a good result. It’s about turning up and making things happen.”
Samoa saw off Canada 42-12 in an IRB International Series encounter at Colwyn Bay on Friday night and will be looking to cause another upset after beating Wales twice in Cardiff in World Cup pool games, securing memorable triumphs in 1991 and 1999.