18 Jun 2012

Sport: Samoa U20 beat Fiji to retain status

10:27 am on 18 June 2012

Samoa's Under 20 side gained some revenge on Fiji with a 29-20 victory in the ninth place semi final match at the Junior World Championship in South Africa.

The result reverses their earlier loss in pool play to their Pacific rivals.

Fiji scored first and led 10-0 with half an hour gone before Samoa gained ascendancy, with Robert Lilomaiava and Peter Schuster both dotting down before the halftime break to set up the victory.

The win secures Samoa's place at next year's tournament and coach John Schuster says they're very relieved.

"It's been tough going for us - three tough games in the pool and trying to salvage something to guarantee our spot. All the credit to the boys - I think they picked themselves up and they gave it their best and really fought for that guaranteed position for us and I give them all the credit."

Samoa will now playoff for ninth spot against Scotland, who beat Italy in the other semi.

Fiji will face Italy for eleventh place, with the loser to be relegated to the second tier Junior World Rugby Trophy.

Their coach Sale Sorovaki says they will do everything they can to stay up.

We did not underestimate Samoa. We really tried hard and it just wasn't out day and congratulations to Samoa again. We want to finish off with a win - today was one of those chances to do that but we didn't and we look forward to the next game on Friday.