APIA, Samoa (AP) — Samoa made an explosive beginning but faded and needed a late, breakaway try to quell a second half comeback and beat Tonga 30-10 on Saturday in the last match of the Pacific Nations Cup.
Taking advantage of an early penalty try, Samoa sprang out to a 17-3 lead after only 16 minutes and took a commanding 23-3 lead to halftime.
But in a repeat of last week's match against Fiji, when they led 16-3 nearing halftime only to lose 26-16, Samoa faded badly after halftime.
Tonga took control at set pieces to dominate the second spell but managed only one try against resolute Samoa defense. They had Samoa under pressure again when a dropped pass allowed replacement Danny Tusitala to break away for the decisive try.