Scots denied unbeaten tour
To mark the 40th Anniversary of the Samoa Observer, a series of selected articles printed over the last 40 years will be re-published in the next two weeks, to show our readers the issues covered by this newspaper over the years and the personalities that made the headlines.
First Published: 13 June 1993
Manu Samoa yesterday denied Scotland a grand slam South Seas Island tour comfortably beating them in their final tour match 28-11 at a capacity filled Apia Park.
The tourists will now leave for home with a record of six wins and one loss in their tour of Fiji, Tonga and Western Samoa.
A delighted Manu Samoa captain Papaliitele Pita Fatialofa said in the teams changing rooms after the game, “We’re happy with the win, it was a hard game.
“The boys were dedicated a bit more today and there was much more urgency in the game,” he said.
David Johnstone, the Scottish team coach conceded that his team had been beaten by a better one.
“We were well beaten by a very good side we lost too many lineouts and we couldn’t control the game on the pitch which was the root of our problems,” he said.
On the positive aspects of the game Johnstone pointed to his team’s scrumming and tackling.
“Our scrum was very solid and the tackling was tremendous.”
The match proved a tight one with very little opportunity provided.
However the Manu Samoa loosened up an otherwise tight game by playing enterprising rugby and applying constant pressure.
The combined tactical kicking of Manu Samoa first five Darren Kellett and springy lock forward Potu Leavasa ensured the Western Samoa side plenty of valuable attacking territory and possession.
From the beginning of the game Manu Samoa looked well in control with quick clearances for the line from set phases.
Their forwards looked hungry for possession, while the backs appeared poised to attack once given the ball.
It took only four minutes for the local side to post their first try.
After early infiltration in Scottish territory Manu Samoa won possession from a lineout outside the Scottish 22.
The Western Samoans on attack were then stopped in their tracks ten metres from the Scottish try line when a maul formed.
At the back of the maul Malaki Iupeli (Manu Samoa openside flanker) reversed flicked a pass to his backs.
To’o Vaega the try scorer featured early in the set move but reappeared again to collect the pass alongside the backline and score.
Kellet converted the try opening up the game 7-0.
Two minutes later just inside the home teams half Scotland were given a scrum put-in after a knock-on.
Scottish first five Grant Townsend high kicked the ball deep inside Samoan territory.
Referee Lindsay McLauchlan awarded Scotland a scrum after the Manu Samoa knocked the ball on.
The Strength of the Scottish scrum eventually led to their first and only try of the match to halfback, Andy Nicol.
Nicol simply waited for the scrum to make its way over the line before diving on the ball starting accounts for his team, 7-5.
Manu Samoa number eight Danny Kaleopa crossed the line in the 34th minute increasing his teams lead to 12-5.
A Scottish high ball collected by the Manu Samoa forwards was quickly released to the backs just outside their 22.
Winger Lolani Koko dashed 40-50 metres alongside the eastern side Apia Park grandstand touchline only to be stopped deep inside Scottish territory.
The backs and some loosies out numbered the Scottish defense on the other side of the field easily made their way towards the line, with Kaleopa receiving the final pass from the maul.
The Scots kept their hopes alive late in the first half by kicking a penalty lifting the scores to 12-8.
The second half saw Western Samoa post a further 16 points, while the Scots managed a penalty.
Scotland’s defence held out well in the last forty minutes allowing Manu Samoa to score only once.
However concerted pressure from a fired up Manu Samoa forward pack saw the Scots give dangerous penalties near the goal posts.
Three such penalties amounted in more points for Western Samoa.
Second and third phase play proved too much for the tourists who buckled in the end by letting a disciplined play down.
Perhaps the last try of the match and the slickest belonged to the backline scoring duo of Lima and Vaega.
After second phase set play To’o Vaega found himself confronted by some Scottish defenders.
Before he was tackled he grubber kicked the ball for the speedy winger, who uncannily got the bounce for the touchdown right in the corner.
For the Manu Samoa backline Vaega and Kellet had good games.
Kellet’s tactical kicking was on target and helped dictate play.
Vaega glad to be back in his favourite position after two previous games on the wing showed his eagerness to run.
Full back Anetelea Aiolupo once again provided a secure team backbone.
Fatialofa, Afa Leu’u and Tala Leaisamavao took the ball forward with the breaks eventuated.
As a tribute to their last game on Apia Park for some time to come, The Manu Samoa celebrated their victory with the famous war dance.
Ten New Zealand based players will leave for New Zealand later tonight, while the rest of the squad to New Zealand will leave later for the New Zealand tour next month.