14 Sep 2011

Samoa in predictable win in RWC opener

5:16 pm on 14 September 2011

Hulking winger Alesana Tuilagi scored three tries as Samoa kicked off their World Cup campaign with a 49-12 bonus point win over Namibia in a Pool D encounter at Rotorua International Stadium on Wednesday.

Scrumhalf Kahn Fotuali'i and fullback Paul Williams also scored a try apiece, while referee Romain Poite awarded the Pacific islanders a penalty try for repeated scrum infringements by the Namibians close to their line.

Flyhalf Tusi Pisi slotted two conversions and a penalty before he went off in the 28th minute with a hamstring injury while Williams, sinbinned in the first half for a shoulder charge on Namibia flyhalf Theuns Kotze, kicked a penalty and added three conversions.

Centre Danie van Wyk and Kotze scored consolation tries for the African side, while the flyhalf converted his effort under the posts.

Samoa assistant coach Tom Coventry says being one of the last sides to get a start at the tournament built up the tension, but the positive side was that they knew a bit more about the opposition than other teams.

The Samoan 15 fielded for the opening Cup encounter was the same as the team that sensationally defeated the Wallabies in July.

Samoa next play Wales in Hamilton on Sunday, a match that could decide which team advances to the quarterfinals.