Rugby World Cup 2003
Samoa get past Georgia
Scrum's Graham Jenkins at the Subiaco Oval
October 19, 2003
Samoa's Dominic Feaunati celebrates his try
© Getty Images
Samoa remained on course for the World Cup quarter-finals by beating Georgia 46-9 at the Subiaco Oval. The Samoans once again showed their ability to conjure tries from broken play with six tries, three in each half.
The win takes them to the top of Pool C with another five point haul, above England, who they face in Melbourne next weekend. Georgia made them work hard for the spoils but in the end the South Sea Islanders had to much pace and power for their European rivals.
Fly-half Earl Va'a scored 21 points, including a try, while there were also touchdowns for scrum-half Steven So'oialo, centre Brian Lima, wing Sailosi Tagicakibau, substitute wing Dominic Feaunati and outstanding skipper Semo Sititi.
Samoan coach John Boe made one change from the side that defeated Uruguay 60-13 in midweek, replacing wing Lome Fa'atau with Ron Fanautanu, while Georgia welcomed back captain Ilia Zedguinidze, who missed the 84-6 reversal against England because of a head injury.
Georgia started brightly, and they went ahead on four minutes when fly-half Paliko Jimsheladze kicked an angled penalty from 25 metres. Fanautanu's night lasted just six minutes before he was forced off injured - Feaunati replaced him - and Feaunati immediately found himself in the action when a weaving run put Georgia on the back foot.
Samoa then opened their account through a well-worked try as wing Tagicakibau smashed through Georgian full-back Badri Khekhelashvili's tackle and touched down wide out. Despite the the difficult angle, Va'a converted.
Jimsheladze booted his second penalty after 19 minutes, narrowing Georgia's deficit to one point, but Samoa stormed back upfield and they made the most of some quality ball when Va'a scythed through for an excellent touchdown that he also converted.
A Jimsheladze drop-goal kept Georgia in touch at 17-9 adrift, yet Samoa were gradually growing in confidence and So'oialo darted over for their third try following sustained forward pressure. Va'a converted to give him 14 points.
So'oialo and Sititi made considerable yardage through some powerful running, while Georgia's tendency to make basic errors compounded escalating problems.
Samoa were restricted to another Va'a penalty in the third quarter, but Sititi secured the bonus point when he touched down following a brilliant 40-metre run.
Georgia went in pursuit of a consolation try, yet Lima had the final say when he crossed unopposed after capitalising on an exhausted Georgian defensive effort.
Georgia: Khekhelashvili, Urjukashvili, Zibzibadze, I. Guiorgadze, Katsadze, Jimsheladze, Abusseridze, Shvelidze, A. Guiorgadze, Nikolaenko, Mtchedlishvili, Nadiradze, Labadze, Yachvili, Zedquinidze.
Replacements: Khamashuridze for Khekhelashvili (44), Kvirikashvili for Abusseridze (34), Didebulidze for Nadiradze (57).
Not Used: Dudunashvili, Margvelashvili, Bolghashvili, Machkhaneli.
Pens: Jimsheladze 2.
Drop Goals: Jimsheladze.
Sin Bin: Khamashuridze (46).
Samoa: Vili, Fanuatanu, Fanolua, Lima, Tagicakibau, Va'a, So'oialo, Lealamanua, Meredith, Tomuli, Palepoi, Lafaiali'i, Poulos, Fa'asavalu, Sititi.
Replacements: Feaunati for Fanuatanu (7), Rasmussen for Fanolua (52), Schwalger for Tomuli (79), Vaili for Fa'asavalu (53).
Not Used: Lemalu, Viliamu, Tyrell.
Tries: Tagicakibau, Va'a, So'oialo, Sititi, Feaunati, Lima.
Cons: Va'a 5.
Pens: Va'a 2.