Tuesday, July 05, 2011
The Pacific Nations Cup got under way this past weekend as in Tokyo defending champions Samoa beat Japan 34-15, at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Ground. Earlier in the day Tonga upset Fiji.
Samoa are building up nicely to the Rugby World Cup, with a few starts players in their ranks now that they're able to all come together and prepare for the big event. Wing Alesana Tuilagi of Leicester Tigers is one of those, and he scored twice as Samoa took advantage of some fairly weak defensive efforts.
It looked as though Samoa were going to run away with it when their score beat the time on the clock, at 17-0 after 15 minutes, but Japan pulled together and avoided a complete hiding. Coach John Kirwan has plenty of work to do ahead of the World Cup though if they still hope to achieve his goal of winning at least one match in the tournament.
At 24-15 in the second half, things looked decent for the 9700 home ground, but Samoa pulled away somewhat when George Pisi's try extended the lead and sealed the win.
The quality of the below highlights isn't fantastic, but there were some nice tries and it was a good result for the Samoans, who have some talented players in their side that are worth keeping an eye on. We'll have highlights of the other opening round game for you soon.