Samoa surprised Australia and probably the rest of the world when they convincingly beat Australia 32-23 at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney.
Samoa outclassed and outmuscled Australia in every aspect of the game to score four tries while Australia could only crack the Samoan defense twice. The match was dominated by bone-crunching tackles from Alesana Tuilagi and his fellow teammates. This seemed to have rattled the Australians so much that they were forced into basic errors and left without any front-foot ball to launch attacks from.
The scored could have been much worse for Australia had the Samoans not been reduced down to 14 men for 10min. This after their lock Daniel Leo was sin-binned by referee Marius Jonker for repeated infringements at the ruck. During this period Australia managed to add a try through Digby Ioane and shortly after that a penalty via the boot of Matt Giteau.
Samoa who was leading 17-10 at half-time simply continued their dominance in the second half and claimed a great victory on Australian home soil as they start to build towards the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
The Springboks, who were suppose to attend this match, will be taking plenty of notes from the performance of both Australia and Samoa as they face off against Australia in the Castle Tri-Nations opener next weekend. They will also save their Samoan notes in a safe place as they face them in the Rugby World Cup later this year.
Australia certainly seemed rattled by the physicality and intense pace at which the Samoans played. The Boks will take positives from this but also force them to take a cautioned and serious approach to the Samoan match at the RWC in New Zealand.
Tries: Digby Ioane, Matt Giteau
Conversions: Matt Giteau (2)
Penalties: Matt Giteau (3)
Tries: Alesana Tuilagi, Paul Williams, Kane Thompson, George Pisi
Conversions: George Pisi, Tusi Pisiata (2)
Penalties: George Pisi, Tusi Pisiata