Samoa too good for Japan in PNC

Samoa scored five tries to four to beat Japan 37-31 in a thrilling finale to their campaigns in the Pacific Nations Cup rugby tournament on Saturday.

Both teams entered the match promising to run the ball at every opportunity and were true to their word, matching each other almost try for try in the match at Apia Park.

The teams went to halftime locked at 17-17 but Samoa eked out a small advantage in the second half in a skillful and fast-paced match.

The result lifted Samoa to third and Japan to fifth place in the six-nation competition. Tonga, which beat Fiji Saturday for their first win of the tournament, still finished in last place while Fiji dropped back to fourth.

Samoa’s tries on Saturday went to veteran loose-forward Semo Sititi, Loleni Tafunai, Heroshi Tea, Anitelea Tuilagi and James Johnson while Gavin Williams, son of former All Black Bryan Williams, kicked three conversions and two penalties.

Japan scored tries through Hare Makiri, winger Bryce Robins, Hirotoki Onozawa and Takashi Kikutani. James Arlidge converted all four tries and kicked a penalty.

Samoa 37 Japan 31 (H-t: 17-17)



Samoa –
Tries: Semo Setiti, Loleni Tafunai, Heroshi Tea, Anitelea Tuilagi, James Johnston.
Conversions: Gavin Williams (3),
Penalty: Williams (2)


Japan –
Tries: Hare Makiri, Bryce Robins, Hirotoki Onozawa, Takashi Kikutani.
Conversions: James Arlidge (4).
Penalty: Arlidge


Teams (15-1)


Samoa: Gavin Williams, Esera Lauina, Henry Faafili, Anitelea Tuilagi, David Lemi, Eliota Sapolu Fuimaono, Uale Mai, Henry Tuilagi, Semo Sititi, George Stowers, Kane Thompsen, Filipo Lavea Levi (captain), Census Johnston, Loleni Tafunai, Heroshi Tea.

Reserves: Simon Siuola Lemalu, James Johnston, Daniel Leo, Jonathan Faamatuainu, Notise Tauafao, Roger Warren, Paletuatoa Toelupe

Japan: Shaun Webb, Christian Loamanu, Bryce Robins, Ryan Nicholas, Hirotoki Onozawa, James Arlidge, Tomoki Yoshida, Ryu Koliniasi Holani, Hare Makiri, Takuro Miuchi (captain), Luke Thompson, Toshizhumi Kitagawa, Tomakazu Soma, Yusuke Aoki, Tatsukichi Nishiura.

Reserves: Naonori Mizuyama, Yosuke Ikegaya, Koji Shinozuka, Takashi Kikutani, Fumiaki Tanaka, Kosuke Endo, Hiroki Yoshida

Referee: Steve Walsh (NZL)

Sapa-AFP –

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