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Wednesday Jul 8, 2015

All Blacks beat determined Samoa in historic first ever Test in Apia

All Blacks beat determined Samoa in historic first ever Test in Apia
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The All Blacks were made to work hard for a 25-16 victory over Samoa in the first ever Test between the two sides in Apia earlier today. A late comeback gave the hosts a chance, but Dan Carter kept the world champions ahead with the boot.

Carter scored 20 points from the tee as New Zealand scored their only try through George Moala, while Samoa’s try came from powerful former Sevens star, Alafoti Fa’osiliva.

The first half was tight, and at times scrappy, but Carter kept kicking the opportunities afforded to him. They took a 12-3 halftime lead, before a crosskick allowed debutant Moala to score, and later stretch the lead to 19-3 in the second half.

Samoan flyhalf Tusi Pisi kicked nine points as their try brought the score to within reach at 22-16, before a late Carter penalty made the victory fairly comfortable in the end. It was their narrowest ever victory over Samoa though, in six matches.

They had previously beaten them by over 50 points on four occasions, including a mammoth 101-14 win in their most recent match in New Plymouth in 2008.

Alesana Tuilagi said post match that he hopes the All Blacks will return to Samoa again.

“Thank you, Richie McCaw the Captain, and the number one team in the world. Hopefully you’ll come back, and we’ll try again, and again and again,” the now 34-year-old said.

McCaw wished them well at the Rugby World Cup, where they are in Pool B with South Africa, Scotland, Japan and the USA.

“With form like that you will get better and I know you will be a force to be reckoned with in what’s ahead. You have a pretty special team and I’m sure you will do well.”

A capacity crowd of 8,104 was on hand to witness the match in Apia, but the sense of occasion around the country – who have a population of less than 200 000 – was palpable. Hopefully a meeting between the two sides, in Samoa, will become a regular fixture.

Updated: Match build up and wrap-up below, with the extended match highlights on page two

credit: NZAUTV Rugby Union

17 Comments

  •  drg
    drg
    11:21 AM 10/07/2015

    Can't say for sure on the 1:42 incident, but it looks very close (in favour of there being no offside). 3:15, totally agree with you there, no way that should have been blown up!

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    11:17 AM 10/07/2015

    A huge amount of it has to be down to general physique though. These guys are naturally bigger than average, throw some conditioning in the mix and you get monsters, from there on you'll have the sports inspired bunch developing some nifty skills and taking it on further. Look at the heart that the likes of Shane Williams, Peter Stringer, Gio Aplon etc show, yet they're dwarves amongst giants..throw that sort of passion into something the size of a ute and you get the Samoan teams...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    11:17 AM 10/07/2015

    A huge amount of it has to be down to general physique though. These guys are naturally bigger than average, throw some conditioning in the mix and you get monsters, from there on you'll have the sports inspired bunch developing some nifty skills and taking it on further. Look at the heart that the likes of Shane Williams, Peter Stringer, Gio Aplon etc show, yet they're dwarves amongst giants..throw that sort of passion into something the size of a ute and you get the Samoan teams...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    11:13 AM 10/07/2015

    Ah, that makes sense, although to be honest, it seems a 'vastly understrength' All Black team is still better than the majority of others!

    Reply
  •  bunn
    bunn
    2:34 PM 09/07/2015

    I have South Africa Samoa World Cup tickets so I'm pleased to see the Samoa are looking good! The All Blacks have so much more to give when the Canes' and Highlanders players come back, some of their replacements weren't too hot.

    Reply
  •  dancarter
    dancarter
    2:29 PM 09/07/2015

    They did have a lot of players unavailable due to the super rugby final last week. They couldn't pick Perenara, A Smith, Coles, B Franks, Vito, Savea, Nonu, C Smith, Barrett, Fekitoa and B Smith because of the final, as well as the injured Cory Jane.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos
    11:16 AM 09/07/2015

    Pool A - Australia and England to go through, on account of Wales having a second-half collapse against Fiji. I think Fiji will win two matches. Very tough pool and I think the pool winner will emerge in very good shape to progress through the knockout stage. Battle-hardened, as they say. Pool B - South Africa winner; Samoa runner-up. I cannot see any other outcome, unless off-field political nonsense gets in Samoa's way.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos
    11:06 AM 09/07/2015

    Uncomfortable as I am with slagging off refereeing performances, I'm going to slag off the referee's performance. 1:42 - First NZ penalty. I'm sure no Samoan is offside there; just aggressive defence and quick line speed. 3:15 - Late tackle. Come off it - milliseconds in it and I'm sure the old "already committed" defence would have been accepted if it weren't a Samoan making that tackle(!) Can't really argue with any of the other decisions, but I can't help thinking that a 3-3 scoreline half an hour into the game could have seen it REALLY open up.....

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos
    10:38 AM 09/07/2015

    Another point on population / interest in rugby: Capacity crowd at Apia Park of 8,104 might not sound that massive, but in fact that's 4.26% of the entire Samoa population... For Twickenham to accommodate a similar percentage of the population of England, it would have to hold 2,256,598 people!

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos
    10:33 AM 09/07/2015

    Yeah, but where's the fun in that??

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos
    10:32 AM 09/07/2015

    To date, I have not heard any English individual, organisation, player, coach, caterer or masseuse suggesting in even the most cautious terms that the world cup is in the bag. On the other hand, I'm more than happy to go on record in saying that I don't think Scotland will get out of their pool. ;)

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos
    10:29 AM 09/07/2015

    Bonkers isn't it! They provide a decent number of elite rugby league and American Football players too...

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    9:31 AM 09/07/2015

    Do you think the AB's did their usual thing of playing a mostly understrength side? So as to save their best players from certain death at the hands of the crushing Samoans?

    Reply
  •  snoop
    snoop
    11:06 PM 08/07/2015

    Yes and no. Yes - there is no money in playing in Samoa. It is a big ask for both the NZRU and the players themselves to play an extra test match in an already packed playing season. No - the ABs don't avoid teams that can beat them. They have played several times over the years, and most years since the dawn of professional rugby the ABs have played a team from the Pacific Islands. It is also not as straightforward as playing in other test nations - there has been some political instability between the two countries over the last 12 months. I agree about the impact that Polynesian and Melanesian athletes have had on world sport, but it is important to remember that there is approximately 150,000 people who identify themselves as Samoan that are living in New Zealand - Auckland is considered to be Samoa's largest city.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg
    8:46 PM 08/07/2015

    Very interesting scoreline! Pool B sounds like it could be quite a tough pool for 2nd place; assuming of course that SA has nailed the 1st place easy enough, (which may not happen). Japan has played some good rugby and had a lot of professionals play along side their own guys which will surely have a positive influence. I don't think they'll make it out of the pools though. Scotland has a lot of noise surrounding them, there were years of "we're almost there" without ever quite getting there, but the team they've got currently, the coaching staff, I suspect they could be strong contenders for second place. USA of course is another strong contender, perhaps a somewhat dark horse, I don't know much about them, they've played some strong games in the past and they're not shy about making an impact. Also reckon Pool A is going to be an interesting bunch to watch. I don't see Fiji or Uruguay making it through, but they could be troublesome, but I don't think I could pick who will be left behind out of Australia, England or Wales... I suspect either England or Wales...

    Reply
  •  finedisregard
    finedisregard
    1:24 PM 08/07/2015

    1) The All Blacks don't make money by playing in Samoa. Look at that stadium. They'd rather go to the USA and get a fat paycheck. 2) The All Blacks know that Samoa can upset them in the right conditions. The contributions Polynesian athletes have made to world sport despite their small population and lack of material resources is really remarkable. Samoa has 190,000 people. That's less than the population of Aberdeen, Scotland.

    Reply
  • 11:43 AM 08/07/2015

    Huge respect to Samoa, but I get the impression that this was more of a sub-par display from the ABs than anything else. Great to see Carter hit his stride though, always a pleasure to watch

    Reply


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