Manusina thrashes P.N.G.

The Manusina made a dominant start to the Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship in Fiji, thoroughly outplaying Papua New Guinea for a 65-12 win.

PNG Palais never got near Samoa in the opening match of the tournament, as the Manusina outplayed their opponents in every aspect.

First five Bella Milo gave her side the lead in the opening minutes with a penalty, and Samoa soon kicked on, making the gain line with almost every carry.

Debutante Apaau Mailau got her and Samoa’s first try in the 5th minute, finishing out wide after a nice skip pass from Milo.

Fullback Saelua Seleti got the second, and a yellow card for a high tackle only helped Samoa as they marched into the Palais 22 time and again.

A penalty try at a Samoa five metre scrum saw the Manusina extend their lead to 20 inside 20 minutes.

Lock Maria Jacinta Ausai, who guaranteed big metres every time she touched the ball, crashed through to score before Seleti grabbed her second to make it 32-0 before the half-hour mark.

The fullback soon had her hattrick, getting on the end of a nice Milo reverse ball for Samoa’s sixth try.

Winger Apaau Mailau scored just before halftime to make it 44-0.

The Palais started nicely, but couldn’t make a five metre lineout count as they lost the ball forward.

Mailau went ahead and completed her own hattrick minutes later.

There was another yellow card for Papua New Guinea in the 53rd minute, but it was them who scored next.

Fullback Fatima Rama showed every bit of her incendiary pace to get the Palais on the board with an 80-metre try on the hour mark.

Debuting reserve hooker Hope Sa’u went through five defenders to get Samoa’s ninth try, though Rama scored another in the 75th minute.

Billy-Jean Ale got the 10th try with the final act of the game.

Afterwards, captain and number eight Nina Foaese said her team were happy to get the first-up win out of the road.

She said communication on defence is something they want to improve ahead of the next game on Friday.

“To keep that connection, to carry harder and convert on the outside.”

The Manusina are currently scheduled to play Tonga on Friday, but with Tonga’s first game being cancelled after a player was quarantined with a suspected case of measles, that fixture may not go ahead.

Samoa 65 (Mailau 3, Seleti 3, penalty try, Ausai, H Sa’u, Ale tries; Milo 1/1 pen, 0/2 con; Mose 5/7 cons)
Papua New Guinea 12 (Rama try; 1/2 cons)
HT: 44-0

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