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Samoans Stun Australia
Pacific Islanders dent Wallabies' hopes ahead of Tri Nations
Posted Jul 19, 2011 by Chris White
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The second-ranked team in world rugby were beaten by the tenth-ranked team, at home, in one of the biggest shocks in world rugby. Samoa, the island in the Pacific Ocean, went over to one of the giants of world sport in Australia, and taught not just the Wallabies, but also the world, to underestimate them at your peril.
Just a week before the start of the Tri-Nations tournament, Australia were using the match as a warm-up to their clash with South Africa next week and to find some form. Well, they certainly didn’t do that, and it wasn’t because the Wallabies played badly, but they were truly outclassed by the Samoans.
Leicester’s Alesana Tuilagi gave the visitors the lead with a breakaway try in the tenth minute of the match at the Telstra Stadium in Sydney, and Paul Williams added another try later in the half. Two more tries were scored in the second half – by Kane Thompson and George Pisi, and 12 points from the boot of Tusi Pisi meant the Samoans racked up 32 points, with Mitt Giteau scoring 18 of the Australians’ 23 in reply.
The most dominant spell of the game for the Australians was the ten-minute period that the visitors were reduced to 14-men with Daniel Leo sin-binned. They certainly need to up their game if they’re going to beat South Africa, otherwise that could be a very one-sided game. If Samoa were able to thwart everything Australia threw at them, the South Africans definitely will, and that is no disrespect to Samoa, who played incredibly throughout the match, it’s just a fact.
The Samoans had never beaten a team ranked in the top five in the world prior to this game, and the last time the two met, back on 2005, Australia were heavy victors, crushing Samoa 74-7. At the World Cup in New Zealand later this year, Samoa are in the same pool as Wales, South Africa, Fiji and Namibia, and this win will give them every confidence in getting out of the pool stage at the very least.