SPORTS

No Slip Ups For Samoa

With tougher tests ahead, Samoa started their Rugby World Cup campaign with a 25-16 win over the United States in Pool B on Sunday night. Kicks proved the difference as
22 Sep 2015 09:43
No Slip Ups For Samoa
Manu Samoa’s Jack Lam (with ball), is tackled by USA’s Blaine Scully during their Pool B clash at Brighton Community Stadium yesterday. Photo: World Rugby

With tougher tests ahead, Samoa started their Rugby World Cup campaign with a 25-16 win over the United States in Pool B on Sunday night.

Kicks proved the difference as the teams scored two tries each but the US paid the price for giving away too many penalties after Samoa had established a 14-8 halftime lead in the midday sunshine in front of 29,178 at the Brighton Community Stadium, the scene of Japan’s stunning victory over the Springboks that blew the pool open a day earlier.

Tries from Tim Nanai-Williams and Ofisa Treviranus and 12 points from the foot of flyhalf Tusi Pisi and another penalty by Michael Stanley saw them home.

The Americans ensured a nervy end to the contest for Samoa when Chris Baumann went over to cut the deficit to nine points for the final 10 minutes of the contest.

Samoa have expectations of a quarterfinal place for the first time since 1995, and with group matches to come against South Africa, Japan and Scotland.

“It was tough but it has set us up for the next game. The South Africa loss to Japan showed that all teams at the World Cup have quality,” said Treviranus.

All the early initiative with Samoa, spending considerable time deep in US territory and drawing gasps of amazement from the crowd with the intensity, and sheer brutal force, of their hits.

But it was a clever grubber kick by Pisi rather than a line break that set up the first try after 20 minutes for fullback Tim Nanai-Williams, who only recently qualified to play for the country of his parents’ birth.

American flyhalf AJ MacGinty lead a speedy break from their own 25, cutting through the line to set up a try for Chris Wyles as the Americans replied with a try to trim the halftime score to 14-8.

Samoa’s second try came soon after the interval through Treviranus after another little grubber kick from a lineout and some hesitant US defence.

But Baumann’s try kept the score tight and left the US to rue conceding too many penalties and battling with some of the elementary aspects of the game such as throwing in straight at the lineouts.

Samoa top the pool alongside Japan with four points to the two of South Africa, who they face next in Birmingham on Sunday. The US play Scotland.

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