Samoa set up a match against the Springboks at Loftus Versfeld by beating Italy in the curtain-raiser to the Springboks vs Scotland test in Nelspruit today.
The Samoans were just too slick for the Italians today and quickly made sure of the points buffer they needed to achieve their goal of a decider against the Springboks in the quadrangular series that has seen the novelty of two internationals played at the same venue on the same afternoon.
With Samoa having beaten Scotland in their first game in Durban and Italy having gone down to South Africa the Italians went into today’s game needing to either win by more than 10 points or win with a bonus point for tries.
But when Samoa’s skipper Paul Williams, the son of former All Black great Bryan “BeeGee” Williams, scored the opening try after seven minutes and converted it himself the target margin grew by another seven points and it was soon apparent the task was beyond a stilted Italian side.
Italy will play Scotland in the curtain-raiser at Loftus.
Although Samoa, thanks to the skills honed in Sevens, were able to outflank the Italians with their instinct for counterattack allied to slick interpassing and sharp changing of angles, they did not look to have the material to unduly trouble the Springboks.
Italy sporadically threatened to break through, but lacked the composure in the red zone to translate their build-up work into tries and when the score blew out to 32-3 going into the final quarter, Samoa were able to relax, bring on their subs and start preparing for their march to Pretoria.
Bok coach Heyneke Meyer would have taken note of the fact that Italy’s powerful scrum had the satisfaction of having their powerful scrum rewarded with a penalty try awarded by referee Craig Joubert against the big, but less than energetic, Samoans while the islanders will also be up against it in the line-outs against South Africa.
Samoa: Tries by Paul Williams, Alapati Leiua, Johnny Leota, Taiasina Tuifua and Brandon Va’alu. Williams kicked two penalties and three conversions and Ki Anufe a conversion.
Italy: Penalty try. Luciano Orquera kicked a penalty and Alberto di Stefano a conversion.
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