Samoa drop in on Canada

Sat, 26 Nov 2016 06:17
Large canada v samoa 800

REPORT: Two drop-goals by flyhalf D'Angelo Leuila helped Samoa secure a hard-fourth 25-23 win over Canada in Grenoble.

The Canadians outscored the Pacific Islanders by three tries to one, but Leuila' contribution - 20 points through a conversion, four penalties and those two drop-goals - helped secure victory for the Pacific Islanders.

Paul Perez scored Samoa's solitary try.

Canada got two tries from captain DTH van der Merwe, while Evan Olmstead scored his first Test try for his country. Victoria's Connor Braid kicked eight points.

Perez opened the scoring in the eighth minute as he touched down in the corner after a swift counter-attack by the Samoans left Canada reeling.

Leuila quickly added to the lead two minutes later as he struck a drop-goal to make it 10-0 before making it 13-0 in the 14th minute with his first penalty.

Canada got themselves back into the game though as Braid got his side on the board with a 16th minute penalty to make it 13-3, but eight minutes later the Samoan lead was 16-3 as Leuila struck another penalty.

Braid cut the deficit to 10 points before the interval.

Despite a positive start to the second half from the Canadians, it was Leuila getting the first points of the second frame as he slotted a 50th minute penalty.

A 56th minute yellow card to Taiasina Tuifu'a became the catalyst for Canada as they took the ensuing line-out to just a meter out before Olmstead quickly touched down on the line to make it 19-11.

Veteran Jamie Cudmore was sent to the sin bin in the 62nd minute as he and Samoan centre Winston Stanley had a shoving match, but it was only the Canadian who would take a 10 minute breather.

Despite losing a man, Canada roared on and two minutes later it was Van der Merwe scoring after Phil Mack's box kick took a favourable bounce and the Canadian wing was in for his 22nd Test try.

Leuila would again kick a drop-goal to push Samoa's lead to 22-16, before a 73rd minute penalty extended their advantage.

However, Canada battled on and were rewarded in the 79th minute as van der Merwe collected Braid's cross-field kick to score.

Despite a valiant effort, Canada was unable to muster anything in the closing moments of the match, falling 23-25 to No.14 ranked Samoa.

With his two tries, van der Merwe is now just one Test try behind Winston Stanley's Canadian record of 24.

Canada's senior men's team returns to action in February, as they host Argentina, Chile and the United States.

Scorers:

For Samoa:
Try:
Perez
Con: Leuila
Pens: Leuila 4
DGs: Leuila 2

For Canada:
Tries:
Olmstead, van der Merwe 2
Cons: Braid
Pens: Braid 2

Yellow cards: Taiasina Tuifu (Samo, 56), Jamie Cudmore ((Canada, 62)

Teams:

Samoa: 15 Albert Nikoro, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 Paul Perez, 12 Winston Stanley, 11 David Lemi (captain), 10 D'Angelo Leuila, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Genesis Mamea, 7 Greg Foe, 6 Alafoti Fa'osiliva, 5 Jeff Lepa, 4 Taiasina Tuifu'a, 3 Logovi'i Mulipola, 2 Elia Elia, 1 Sakaria Taulafo.
Replacements: 16 Seilala Lam, 17 Nephi Leatigaga, 18 Census Johnston, 19 Talaga Alofipo, 20 Oneone Fa'afou, 21 Danny Tusitala, 22 Ope Peleseuma, 23 Ahsee Tuala.

Canada: 15 Matt Evans, 14 DTH van der Merwe, 13 Ciaran Hearn, 12 Nick Blevins, 11 Conor Trainor, 10 Connor Braid, 9 Phil Mack, 8 Admir Cejvanovic, 7 Matt Heaton, 6 Evan Olmstead, 5 Brett Beukeboom, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Jake Ilnicki, 2 Ray Barkwill, 1 Rob Brouwer.      
Replacements: 16 Eric Howard, 17 Djustice Sears-Duru, 18 Matt Tierney, 19 Conor Keys, 20 Clay Panga, 21 Andrew Ferguson, 22 Pat Parfrey, 23 Ben Lesage.

Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: David Wilkinson (Ireland), Gary Conway (Ireland)