Pat Lam believes Wales could cause an upset against the All Blacks
Pat Lam believes Wales should not be written off as no-hopers against New Zealand next weekend.
Last Updated: 17/11/12 1:36pm
Lam, captain when Samoa defeated Wales in Cardiff 13 years ago and now their technical adviser, watched the Islanders topple the Grand Slam champions 26-19 on Friday night.
That left Wales facing a probable autumn Test series whitewash, with New Zealand and Australia to come on successive weekends, on the back of conceding 52 points to Argentina and Samoa, while scoring just one try.
They have not beaten the All Blacks since 1953, suffering 24 successive defeats. While New Zealand remain the game's dominant force, Wales are now clinging on to a place in world rugby's top eight.
"No-one is going to give them (Wales) a chance whatsoever next week, and rightly so, because New Zealand are number one and Wales have lost the last few games," Lam said.
"But that is the challenge of rugby and sport. You are up against it, but you never write off any team."
As for Friday's win at the Millennium Stadium, Lam added: "This is really special for us. I talked to the boys about 1991 and how we opened the gate to international rugby for Samoan rugby back then, and to present the jerseys to the players on Thursday night was very emotional for me.
"I think everyone in the past talked about us taking Wales by surprise when we beat them.
"But they lost last week to Argentina, and there was no reason for them not to be up for it. It was an important game for them, so it is pretty special for us to win like we did."
"Samoa is not a team about fame and fortune, it's not about money. Boys, given where they are based in the world, actually lose money when they come to play for Samoa. We are a people's team.
"We showed the boys a video of all the people back home in Samoa, and all the little kids, during our build-up, and it was quite emotional. It just reminded everyone of who we are."