Rugby World Cup 2003
Samoa heap woe on Uruguay
Scrum's Graham Jenkins at the Subiaco Oval
October 15, 2003
Tanner Vili dives in to score for Samoa
© Getty Images
Samoa got their World Cup campaign underway with a comprehensive 10-try 60-13 win over Uruguay in Perth. The emphatic result doesn't tell the whole story with the stats showing that the South Americans had an even share of territory and possession but were unable to capitalise like the Samoans.
In front of a healthy crowd of over 20,000 the Samoans showed an attacking flair and clinical edge that was sadly lacking from Los Teros who were disappointingly below par. The only blot on Samoa's copy book was a yellow card for Lome Fa'atau in the closing minutes.
The experienced Samoa raced to five first half tries after a fairly even opening ten minutes where the Uruguayan defence worked hard to shut their opponents down. The opening score came from Mauri Fa'asavalu as he broke a poor tackle to race into score from 50m. The second soon followed with veteran Brian Lima, appearing in his fourth World Cup, touching down after some good work from lock Opeta Palepoi.
Flyhalf Earl Va'a was having an off day with the boot and missed both conversions and Uruguay fullback Juan Menchaca was also off target with a penalty. Uruguay were punished for the sloppy paly shortly after when a loose flick pass from Joaquin Pastore was pounced upon by Sailosi Tagicakibau who then raced away to score.
Va'a rediscovered his kicking boots and the Samoans were soon celebrating again when another sweeping move that stretched Uruguay saw Fa'asavalu in for his second try of the night to secure the bonus point aswell. Lima exploited a huge defensive hole to grab the fifth before half-time, also converted by Va'a, but Uruguay finished the half ona high when No.8 Rodrigo Capo made the most of a defensive mistake to notch his side's first try in RWC'03.
Any ideas the Uruguayans had of a remarkable recovery were soon banished when Samoa troubled the scorer within a minute of the re-start. Skipper Semo Sititi made big gains before off-loading to wing Fa'atau who weaved his way to the line for an exceptional score.
Va'a capped the superb passage of play with his third conversion before Diego Aguirre pulled three points back with the boot. It was now taking a huge defensive effort from Uruguay to stem the flow but there was always more scores in this game.
Replacement Simon Lemalu was the next to grab a five pointer, peeling off a ruck to scamper in unopposed. He was shortly followed across the whitewash by fullback Tanner Vili. Uruguay still managed a further try from prop Pablo Lemoine but scores from Dominci Feaunati and Palepoi condemned the South Americans to another heavy pool defeat.
Sin Bin: Fa'atau (74).
Tries: Fa'asavalu 2, Lima 2, Tagicakibau, Fa'atau, Lemalu, Vili, Feaunati, Palepoi.
Tries: Capo, Lemoine.