Samoans contain Australians in opener

Jock Campbell of Australian A tries to off-load against Manu Samoa during the World Rugby Pacifi c Nations Cup match at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva yesterday. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Manu Samoa came out victorious in a thrilling match against Australian A at the HFC Bank Stadium at Laucala Bay, Suva, yesterday.

Fans turned up in numbers to pack the stands and embankments before the match started at 1pm in what became a bone-crushing game in the 2022 Pacific Nations Cup opener.

Manu Samoa took off with an early start when hooker Seilala Lam scored the opening try for the team which had their fans on their feet.

The Samoan side proved too strong for the Aussies early in first-half with another two tries coming in from winger Nigel Aw Wong and inside centre D’Angelo Leuila to give their side a 19-7 lead before half-time.

Australia kicked start the second spell with a try from halfback Ryan Longergan, but was unconverted leaving the score at 19-12.

Samoa failed again in defending their line when inside flanker Frasier McReight scored an equaliser for his side.

A successful conversion by Tane Edmed saw the two at 19-all minutes later. Samoa took the lead once more when inside centre Leuila crossed the opponents’ line and was converted to give them a 26-19 lead.

With fresh legs from the bench, Australian substitute No.21, James Tuttle, gave his team an additional five points to level the scores at 26-26.

With only five minutes left until the final hooter and Australia still in possession, Samoa left winger Ah Wong intercepted a pass to race to the line for their 31-26 win over the disappointed Ausssies.

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