Samoa knocked out by Queensland’s Reds
Tama Samoa were narrowly defeated by the Queensland Reds in the Brisbane Global Ten’s with a final score of 12-5
The Tama Samoa began the game cool and composed and swinging the ball from side to side with slick passing. Ball in the hand, Tama Samoa was dangerous.
However their failure to send the ball out and capitalise on room to move when their own players were clearly unmarked meant early points went unscored.
And once the Reds gained possession, it was Samoa who was in the danger zone.
It began as Samoa conceded a crucial penalty when captain Faalemiga Selesele failed to release the ball.
And with a quick tap off the penalty, the Reds were back in business.
They started off deep in their own half. Then a line break by Eto Nabuli, who busted straight through not one or two, but four poor tackle attempts by the Tama Samoa broke their resolve and Red, Moses Sorovi touched down under the sticks for five points.
The try was converted but with more than five minutes left in the first half, Samoa looked unfazed and confident they could make a comeback.
And who could blame them?
They had the combination of Sevens players, captain Asiata Fa’alemiga Selesele, Tila Mealoi and Samoa Toloa who showed magnificent ball play in the back line. The Tama Samoa had on display, the best of Samoan rugby players with their skill, strength and size. However, key ball handling errors for Samoa in the Red zone, left the scoreboard at halftime 0-7 against Samoa.
Back from the break, Samoa was determined to put some points on the board.
At kick off, D’Angelo Leuila placed a beautiful kick near the left side of the lineout where captain Selesele retrieved the kickoff and looked as if he was off to the races.
However, a penalty was awarded to the Reds and that slowed the momentum for Samoa.
Finally, two minutes into the second half, a key intercept by Tama Samoa turned over possession and set them up for what would be their first and only try.
The back line quickly realigned themselves after the abrupt turnover and it was just beautiful hands down the back line.
Speedster and playmaker, Tila Mealoi broke the line and the backs quickly realigned. Then it was accurate offloads as they inched toward the try zone.
Finally, the ball came back to Mealoi who went over the try line.
Again, the inability to tackle and the conceding of penalties during key moments of the game were some of the key issues for the Tama Samoa.
They were heavily penalized in the second round giving the Reds ample time to control the pace of play.
The final nail in the coffin came late in the second half, when the Red’s were awarded a line out inside the 22.
Their players capitalized on Samoa’s weak tackling, drove through the defence, found a hole in the outer wing and scored another try for the Reds.