25 Sep 2011

Samoa beats Fiji to keep hopes alive

6:17 pm on 25 September 2011

First five eighth Tusi Pisi booted four penalties and a drop goal to keep alive Samoa's slim hopes of qualifying for the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals as they beat fellow Pacific Islanders Fiji 27-7 in their Pool D clash at Eden Park on Sunday.

Half-back Kahn Fotuali'i and Number 8 George Stowers scored second-half tries - one of which was converted by full back Paul Williams - for the Samoans, who dominated territory and possession against the error-ridden Fijians.

Fijian blindside flanker Netani Edward Talei crashed over for his side's only try after Fotuali'i scored to give them some hope of forging a late fightback but Stowers' immediate reply ended any chances they had of winning the game.

Despite a lack of usual Samoan attacking running, captain Mahonri Schwalger was pleased with his side's decision to play for territory and keep the pressure on their opponents.

"This game is all about pressure and if we kept on the pressure (we knew) we'd get some points and that's the main thing we got out of it," he said.

"That first half we didn't really fire any shots," said Fijian captain Deacon Manu.

"The turnover rate was disappointing and we didn't really respect the ball in the first half and failed to get through phases."

The sides had met 46 times in the past, though had never met in the World Cup.

The result means Samoa is second in its pool, although third placed Wales still has two more pool games to play.

Samoa's final pool match is aganist South Africa on Friday, while Wales plays Namibia on Monday and Fiji next Sunday.


Samoa Tries: Kahn Fotuali'i, George Stowers. Conversions: Paul Williams. Penalties: Tusi Pisi (4). Drop goal: Pisi.

Fiji Tries: Netani Edward Talei. Conversions: Waisea Sedre Luveniyali.

[Referee: Bryce Lawrence (New Zealand)