Tau'uta Reds Maintains Winning Edge over Savaii Samoa
Tau'uta Reds kicked off its 2009 Pacific Rugby Cup campaign on a winning note in Apia. In an error ridden match punctuated by ordinary kicking, Tau'uta Reds made fewer mistakes while kicking all its penalty chances to pip local side Savai'i Samoa 15-14.
For Savai'i Samoa Head Coach, Paepaetele Stan Toomalatai the nightmare continues. "In 2008, we scored a try by the post in injury time making the score 13-12 to Tau'uta. We were already packing up expecting the conversion to be a formality. Suffice to say, the kick didn't go over and the one-point loss costed us a place in the grand final."
In 2009, the Tau'uta 1-point winning chapter continued. The match was a stop-start affair riddled by a series of basic errors from both teams. Although Savai'i Samoa scored the sole try and appeared the more capable of crossing the tryline, aimless kicking costed them both possession, territory advantage and eventually the game.
Tau'uta coach, Fuka Kitekai'aho had earlier predicted a tough match with Savaii aiming to change last year's result. However, the 15-14 result vindicated his keeping-it-close to the forwards, scrambling defence gameplan counting on the trusty boot of fullback Mesui Lemoto for victory.
An estimated crowd of 3,000 enjoyed a picture-perfect Apia Park. Earlier in the day the Samoa Rugby Union launched its inaugural U-12s New Image tournament to coincide with the 5-rounds of the PRC. The tournament was a success with 8-teams enjoying the outing and a BBQ waiting to await the main game. First XVs rugby was also on the cards with Wesley College too strong for Leulumoega Fou winning an entertaining encounter 19 - 3.
Tau'uta Reds now prepares for its 1 May match against Upolu Samoa at Apia Park. With both teams winning their first round matches, Upolu Samoa defeating 2008 PRC Champion Tautahi Gold 17-9 in Tonga, the public is looking forward to this weekends encounter anticipating a high intensity clash.
Savai'i Samoa meantime will fly to Fiji for what will be an important match for both teams grand final aspirations. Fiji Barbarians who got mauled by Fiji Warriors 47-8 will be out to salvage pride and will be hard to beat on home soil while Savaii will look for atonement and a win to get its campaign back on track.
Round 1 Results
. Savaii Samoa (14) vs Tau'uta Reds (15)
. Upolu Samoa (17) vs Tautahi Gold (9)
. Fiji Barbarians (8) vs Fiji Warriors (47)
Round 2 Fixtures
. Fri, 01 May: Upolu Samoa vs Tau'uta Reds. Apia Park. KO 5:30pm.
. Fri, 01 May: Fiji Barbarians vs Savaii Samoa, Fiji. KO 6pm.
. Sat, 02 May: Tautahi Gold vs Fiji Warriors, Tonga. KO 12pm.