Pacific Nations Cup
Junior All Blacks shade fast-finishing Samoa
June 13, 2009

The Junior All Blacks edged Samoa in the opening game of the Pacific Nations Cup tournament in Apia, Samoa on Friday.

The Junior All Blacks raced out to a 14-0 lead and looked to be comfortably in control before the home team came back at them and nearly snuck an important win.

Hosea Gear and Israel Dagg both scored converted tries in the first half before Samoa came roaring back into the match led by their vice captain Gavin Williams. He slotted two penalties and a try to take the deficit to just six points and when Esera Lauina crossed to take them within a point, a win for the home side seemed set.

The visitors though held out for a frantic final 13 minutes despite the best efforts of replacement fly-half Uale Mia who saw two drop goals sail wide of the uprights.

In the other opening round clash Fiji scored a convincing 36-22 win against Tonga in Nuku'alofa on Saturday.

Taniela Maravunwasawasa kicked 11 points as Fiji ran in 5 tries with Timoci Nagusa grabbing a brace for himself.


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