We’re back with more offseason tests. To kick off the action today, Toa Samoa take on the Fiji Bati in the first match of our Eden Park triple header!
If Samoa win, they win division B of the Oceania Cup. They will be promoted to division A next year if this happens.
If Fiji win, it’s down to next week’s game between Fiji and PNG.
The only late change was that Bunty Afoa is benched and Dunamis Lui is starting lock. Kickoff was 2:20PM local time.
The game kicked off and Fiji’s first set ended with an error from Samoa. Another repeat set ended up with Joe Lovodua dummying and going from an offload to get first points within 7 minutes!
Brandon Wakeham converted from right in front to make the lead 6-0. Fiji went back-to-back on the next set as they scored through D’Rhys Miller.
Wakeham converted again, this time from the left sideline, for the 12-0 lead.
Fiji kept the points flowing with Vil Kikau and Joseph Ratuvakacereivalu crossing the stripe for tries.
Brandon Wakeham remained perfect off the boot for the 24-0 lead, 25 minutes in.
2 minutes later, Samoa finally got their first points through the Dragons centre, Tim Lafai.
Jarome Luai brought it left and held up the pass perfectly for Tim Lafai to dummy his way through. Lafai converted for the 24-6 scoreline.
With a few minutes left in the half, normal transmission resumed as the Panthers big second rower, Vil Kikau flew over for a double to get Fiji’s fifth try of the half.
Brandon Wakeham converted again for the 30-6 lead. The Fijians held onto this lead until the half time break hit.
Samoa 6 – 30 Fiji
To start the second half, Fiji gave away a penalty in the first set. In this penalty, Taane Milne would get the worst of a head clash and be taken off for a HIA.
10 minutes later, Manly Winger Jorge Taufua opened the second half scoring.
Jarome Luai brought it left and gave it to Tim Lafai who sucked in the winger and gave it to Taufua to score in the corner.
Lafai hooked the conversion so the score remained 10-30.
Just following the kickoff, Jorge Taufua dropped it and handed Fiji great field position.
They spread it left and Braydon Wiliame threw a beauty of a flick pass to Isaac Lumelume to score.
Brandon Wakeham missed his first goal so the score remained 34-10.
10 minutes later, from just inside their own half, Fiji decided to spread it left.
An offload sent Brayden Wiliame into space. Wiliame went outside to Lumelume to beat the first defender and then it was sent back inside to Wiliame.
He then beat the last defender and was still able to score.
Siti Moceidreke hit the post on the conversion so the lead remained 38-10.
In the following set, they punted it downfield but Ronaldo Mulitalo knocked it on.
From the scrum, they spread it right and Kevin Naiqama dummied and powered over himself for the 42-10 lead.
Siti Moceidreke converted from the right side for the 44-10 lead.
To finish the game, with less than 2 minutes left, Jorge Taufua crossed for the double for some constellation points.
Tim Lafai hooked the kick to keep the score 14-44 with less than a minute left.
The scoring didn’t stop though, as Jorge Taufua offloaded to Ronaldo Mulitalo who kicked for himself and scored on the buzzer.
Tim Lafai missed again so the full time score to 18-44.
Samoa 18 – 44 Fiji
Fiji have won their first game of the 2019 Oceania Cup and Samoa have finished their campaign with one win and one loss.
Next week, Fiji take on PNG in the match to decide who is promoted to Division A.
If Fiji win, they earn promotion. If PNG win by 45 or more, they qualify for Division A.
However, If PNG win by 44 or less, Fiji qualify as well.