SAMOA 18 TONGA 16
Samoa 18 (Josh Maguire, Daniel Vidot, Frank Pritchard, Dominique Peyroux tries; Tim Simona goal)
Tonga 16 (Jorge Taufua 2, Sika Manu tries; Solomone Kata 2 goals)
Dominique Peyroux may have scored the match winner but it was Sam Kasiano and Frank Pritchard combining to deny Jorge Taufua with three minutes left on the clock that helped Samoa edge out Tonga 18-16 at CBUS Super Stadium.
Taufua looked set for a hat-trick as he went to score in the corner. Kasiano and Pritchard combined to ensure the Manly flyer was kept out and give Samoa victory.
This all happened after Peyroux stepped brilliantly past fullback Tuimoala Lolohea with ten minutes to go to put the Samoans ahead.
It was an enthralling contest with the lead changing at regularly during a tightly contested second half.
Both sides were physical in the early exchanges with Samoa looking the most likely to score first. However it was Tonga who were denied after six minutes with Solomone Kata denied by the officials after a double movement in trying to score the opening try. Five minutes later Frank Pritchard looked to score for Samoa when again the try was denied because of obstruction.
Sixteen before the main break Josh Maguire big dummy fooled the Tongan defense from close range and opened the scoring. With a questionable play the ball in the lead-up Tonga hit right back through an unmarked Jorge Taufua scoring in the corner. Right on half time out of favour Bronco Daniel Vidot extended Samoa’s lead to six points at half time.
It took twelve minutes into the second half for Tonga to hit the lead. Taufua scoring his second thanks to a cross field kick from Lolohea. When Sika Manu barged his way over Tonga were ahead 14-10. Frank Pritchard leveled scored with twenty-three minutes remaining for Samoa. A penalty to Tonga under the Samoan posts with sixteen to go broke the deadlock with Kata converting a penalty goal from a simple position. Peyroux’s try sealing the Samoan victory.
Tim Simona late in the game suffered an ankle problem for Samoa. Wests Tigers fans will be hoping he is right to play next week against the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium on Friday night. Ben Murdoch-Masila also suffered an ankle injury in the final seconds and Konrad Hurrell left the field after copping Peyroux’s shoulder on his way down in a tackle.
Earlier tonight Fiji were too good for PNG by 22-10. Match report soon.