Just eight days after being embarrassed by a strong England outfit, Samoa were able to bounce back and keep their World Cup finals hopes alive with a big 72-4 win over Greece.
It was the big names in Jarome Luai and Brian To’o that shone in their respective ways, as the Samoan side piled on the points onto a inexperienced but spirited Greek side.
Samoa’s first try came after just one minute and off their first set as Chanel Harris-Tavita put a crossfield kick in and To’o came down with the ball to score.
A lucky ricochet for the Samoan side saw them score a second. Luai danced around the defence, offloaded, and the ball bounced off a Greek player.
Junior Paulo was quickest to react and won the race to the ball to score.
A third quickly followed as Josh Aloiai put Luai through a gap and after some weaving, he found Danny Levi who scored under the posts.
The Samoan’s fourth try was started by a To’o line-break and finished off by a deft pass from Luai to Harris-Tavita who strolled over under the posts.
The props in Josh Papalii and Royce Hunt then combined close to the line as Papalii’s pass found a rampaging Hunt who beat several defenders before momentum took him over the line.
Ligi Sao then produced a half-break and found Tim Lafai bursting onto the offload before he found Luai on his inside to score another try at the posts.
Lafai, now sporting a ponytail, did it himself from dummy half with a step, a weave, a dart before reaching out to score.
Leading 42-0 at the break, the Greeks were probably hoping they could snag even one try and it came as they scored first in the second half.
South Sydney Rabbitohs half Lachlan Ilias chipped over the top, Jake Kambos regathered and the forward found Ilias back on his inside to dive over.
Fa’amanu Brown was the next Samoan to score, burrowing his way through some soft goal-line defence by Greece.
A cheeky between the legs pass from Joseph Suaalii provided the next points as Stephen Crichton said thank you very much and merely jogged his way to the line.
Luai was again involved in the next Samoan try, this time a deft grubber put through that saw Harris-Tavita win the race to the ball.
Luai’s quick shift left then found Lafai who in turn found Mathew Feagai to continue the Samoan rout.
Oregon Kaufusi then produced a powerful run to avoid several defenders and found Levi backing up for the hooker to score his second.
To’o again showed his prowess with a powerful run through the middle and some quick passes then find Lafai for his second and that was all she wrote.
Samoa 72 (Harris-Tavita 2, Lafai 2, Levi 2, To’o, Paulo, Hunt, Luai, Brown, Crichton, Feagai; G: Crichton 10) def. Greece 4 (Ilias).
NRL News Player of the Match
3. Jarome Luai (SAM)
2. Brian To’o (SAM)
1. Royce Hunt (SAM)