Double delight for Samoa in Pacific Rugby Cup
(IRB.COM) The two sides to have lifted the IRB Pacific Rugby Cup both enjoyed victories in their opening matches in the 2008 competition, although both 2006 winners Savai’i Samoa and defending champions Upolu Samoa had to come from behind to do it.
TAU'UTA REDS 12-20 UPOLU SAMOA
Upolu Samoa kicked off the defence of their IRB Pacific Rugby Cup title with a 20-12 win over Tau’uta Reds at the Teufaiva Stadium in the Tongan capital of Nuku’alofa on Saturday in a repeat of the 2007 final at the same venue.
On that occasion Upolu Samoa ran out 35-15 winners to succeed Savai’i Samoa as champions, but in fair conditions they had to come from behind to taste victory after captain and number 8 Afele Tongia had opened the scoring for the Tau’uta Reds in the 12th minute with a try converted by full back Mesui Lemoto.
Roger Warren kicked a drop goal for the defending champions in the 22nd minute before they took the lead late in the first half with a try from centre Gasolo Salima which was converted by the fly half.
Salima’s try came within a minute of Reds try scorer Tongia being sent to the sin-bin and Upolu Samoa went in leading 10-7 at the interval.
Upolu Samoa stretched that advantage to 10 points with a try from wing Timoteo Iosua within seven minutes of the restart, but the home side quickly hit back with a second score from Tongia.
A penalty by Warren on the hour mark put the Samoan side ahead by more than a converted try and although this proved to be the final score of the match, both sides finished with 14 men after Tongia saw red in the 68th minute and then Upolu scrum half Notise Tauafao was sin-binned two minutes from time.
Tau’uta Reds: 1. ‘Otulea Fifita (17. Sateki Mata’u) 2. ‘Atelea Hu’akau 3. Siua Halanukonuka 4. Kelepi Halafihi (20. Tavalea Takai) 5. Sione Timani (18. ‘Isileli Fine) 6. ‘Atunaisa Sikalu 7. Sekona Fonua 8. ‘Afele Tongia (Captain) 9. ‘Enele Taufa (21. Sikalele ‘Ahoafi) 10. Lata’imuli ‘Anitoni 11. Fou-Ki-Moana Katoa 12. Sione Masima 13. ‘Ofa Takai 14. Tupou Palu 15. Mesui Lemoto (22. Salesi Havili).
Replacements not used: 16. Poasi Fonua 19. Saia Taufalele.
Tries: Afele Tongia (2)
Conversions: Mesui Leomto
Yellow card: Afele Tongia
Red card: Afele Tongia
Upolu Samoa: 1. Paula Lewer (17. Mulifusi Ulima) 2. Muliufi Salanoa (Captain) 3. Taligatuli Moala 4. Olaifale Pipili 5. Tui Fitiao 6. Simaika Mikaele 7. Alapasa Cortz 8. Filipo Levi 9. Notise Tauafao 10. Rogger Warren 11. Pulemalie Sopo 12. Samasoni Moala 13. Gasolo Salima 14. Timoteo Iosua 15. Lolo Lui.
Replacements not used: 16. Andrew Viliamu 18. Ruperake Petaia 19. Sirovai Sila 20. Dominic Gabriel 21. Tuugasala Sione 22. Joyner Key.
Tries: Gasolo Salima, Timoteo Iosua
Conversions: Roger Warren (2)
Penalties: Roger Warren
Drop goal: Roger Warren
Yellow card: Notise Tauafao
SAVAI’I SAMOA 17-13 FIJI BARBARIANS
Alafoti Fa’osiliva and Reupena Levasa scored second half tries as inaugural Pacific Rugby Cup champions Savai’i Samoa overturned a half-time deficit to beat Fiji Barbarians 17-13 at Apia Park on Friday.
Fiji Barbarians had led 6-0 at the interval after two penalties from their fly half Amani Bosenawai, the first in the 18th minute following the sin-binning of Savai’i Samoa centre Junior Leota and the second just past the half hour mark.
The match, played in temperatures of 32 degrees Celsius and beneath clear skies before a crowd of 1,000 in the Samoan capital, remained tight with Fiji Barbarians ending the first half with 14 men after prop Isikeli Gavidi was sent to the sin-bin by referee Eva Mafi.
However it took Savai’i Samoa until the 51st minute to give the home fans some points to cheer when number 8 Alafoti Fa’osiliva, who has caught the eye for Samoa on the IRB Sevens World Series this season, touched down for a try converted by fly half Ki Anufe.
Fiji Barbarians then lost wing Vima Tuidraki to the sin bin with Anufe kicking the resultant penalty to edge Savai’i Samoa out to 10-6, and minutes later he was joined by his team-mate, hooker Aseri Buli on the sidelines following another yellow card.
Savai’i Samoa though couldn’t capitalise on their two-man advantage for a couple of minutes and it was Tuidraki who quickly atoned for his yellow card with a try within minutes of his return to edge the Barbarians back into a 13-10 lead.
There was to be no victory to return to Fijian shores with though as in injury time Reupena Levasa delighted the home crowd by scoring Savai’i Samoa’s winning try, which Anufe converted to give the 2006 champions a narrow 17-13 victory.
Savai’i Samoa: 1. Hiro Tea 2. Loleni Tafunai (16. Lafoga Aoelua) 3. Egelani Fale (17. Poutoa Iosi) 4. Luti Pese (18. Tim Nelson) 5. Keneti Tofilau 6. Ponifasio Vasa (Captain) 7. Solomona Aimaasu (19. Tele Ese) 8. Alafoti Fa’osiliva 9. Alatasi Tupou (21. Karl Siemson) 10. Ki Anufe 11. Tupu Ulufale (20. Gafa Siona) 12. Junior Leota 13. Reupena Levasa 14. Esere Lauina 15. Tauvaga Fa’afou.
Replacements not used: 22. Fanuafou Tofi.
Tries: Alafoti Fa’osiliva, Reupena Levasa
Conversions: Ki Anufe (2)
Penalties: Ki Anufe
Yellow card: Junior Leota 17
Fiji Barbarians: 1. Sakeo Latianara 2. Aseri Buli (19. Josefa Nagatalevu) 3. Isikeli Gavidi (18. Joeli Lutumailagi) 4. Kolinio Vasuilagi 5. Mosese Fatiaki 6. Mitieli Cama 7. Aminiasi Nava 8. Samuela Bola 9. Kelemedi Bola (Captain) (20. Nemia Kenatale) 10. Amani Bosenawai (21. Jimi Mule) 11. Vima Tuidraki 12. Ravai Fatiaki 13. Tikiko Uluviti 14. Alusio Buto 15. Isemeli Koniferedi.
Replacements not used: 16. Eseroma Cakacaka 17. Setefano Somoca 22. Ropate Ratu.
Tries: Vima Tuidraki
Conversion: Amani Bosenawai
Penalties: Amani Bosenawai (2)
Yellow cards: Isikeli Gavidi 43, Yima Tuidraki 54, Aseri Buli 61