The Australian Kangaroos proved to be too good for Ben Gardiner’s men, registering a 38-12 defeat of Samoa in the opening match of the Pacific Championships in Townsville.
Australia scored the first four tries of the match in just 18 minutes. All four tries came far too easily as the Toa Samoa went into panic attack mode early in the match.
Payne Haas scored the first try by carrying four Samoans for at least 10 meters to dot it down for his first international try.
6-0 became 12-0 in a flash. From a scrum the Kangaroos swing the ball wide to their captain James Tedesco. He slices through Brian To’o and Izack Tago to cruise in for Australia’s second.
Australia would continue to expose the Samoan defence until Samoa finally had a play go their way.
After conceding 22 points Samoa took their chance at a short kick off. Regaining possession Samoa went on the attack to the right. Luciano Leilua put in a perfect kick for Murray Taulagi who got past his man to score Samoa’s first try.
28-6 was a generous score line for the men in blue considering the Kangaroos dominance in the first half.
Taulagi haulted the Australian momentum for a little bit before a Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow try would re-open the Samoan wound.
A 22 point deficit for Samoa meant they needed to be inch perfect in the second half to win this match.
Despite their best efforts it just wasn’t their night for the Ben Gardiner’s men.
Australia would score first in the second half through Tabuai-Fidow. A try on either ends of half time would have the Samoans struggle to gain any sort of momentum.
The effort was there for the Samoans but they just couldn’t string together that last pass to put points on the board.
Samoa’s Sualauvi (Sua) Fa’alogo thought he had scored the try of his career but it was overturned by the bunker.
After a Keenan Palasia offload, the ball found Stephen Crichton. Crichton would hit Fa’alogo on the inside who caught the ball at full speed.
The Samoan born fullback cut through the Kangaroo defence before chipping the ball over the top of Tedesco. The ball sat up perfectly for the 20 year old kid from Samoa as he thought to have scored Samoa’s second try.
Much to the dismay of Toa Samoa fans around the globe, the bunker found an infringement in the lead up to the try and disallowed it although it took nothing away from Sua Fa’alogo’s demonstrated brilliance.
Samoa would score a consolation try after another left edge raid.
Sualauvi Fa’alogo would show some silky passing to put Taulagi into acres of space. A left foot step and an offload put Leilua in to score, with the Cowboys teammates combining.
Samoa’s next Pacific Championships match is against New Zealand on the 21st of October 2023 in Auckland.