Rugbyu: Samoa Dispatch Tonga For First Pacific Cup WinThu, 01 Jan 1970 12:01 AM
Gavin Williams kicked Samoa home for their first Pacific Nations Cup
rugby competition win when they beat Tonga 20-15 here Saturday.
In the battle of the two cellar-dwellers Samoa were outplayed for
much of the game and found themselves starved of possession.
But they still managed the only two tries of the encounter and came
home on the back of Williams' powerful boot on a firm ground at Tonga's
Tonga, who conceded 90 points a week ago against Australia A, looked
set to restore some pride as they dominated territory and possession.
However, despite their ample ball possession they suffered from a
lack of attacking options and were left to rely on five penalties for
their 15 points.
The defeat left them pointless at the bottom of the ladder with only
one round remaining while Samoa moved up to fourth, equal with Japan,
who are to play New Zealand Maori later in the day.
Flyhalf Pierra Hola gave Tonga a positive start with a penalty in
the second minute and he landed two more shots at goal to stretch the
lead to 9-0 within half an hour.
But although Samoa were on the back foot for much of the game, they
always looked enterprising with the ball and they posted their first
points of the game just before half-time when Sevens star Uale Mai ran
blind from the base of a scrum to score wide out.
A Williams conversion left Samoa trailing 7-9 at the turn.
After Tongan wing Vungakoto Lilo, who took over the kicking duties
when Hola was subbed, landed a penalty soon after half-time, Samoa took
the lead for the first time with their second try.
Flyhalf Eliota Sapolu-Fuimaono snapped through a series of
half-hearted tackles before off-loading to David Lemi, who scored handy
to the posts and Williams' conversion put Samoa up 14-12.
Lilo regained the lead for Tonga with his second penalty before
Williams landed two late penalties, one from half-way, to seal the win.
In their final competition matches next weekend, Tonga host Fiji and
Samoa are home to Japan.