Manu Samoa finished its Pacific Nations Cup campaign with a flourish with a 50-3 victory over Tonga in Apia on Sunday. The victory means that the Samoan’s finish third in the final standings, behind champions the Junior All Blacks and Australia A.
Utilising a wealth of possession and the emotion of wing Brian Lima's final appearance at his home ground in his 62 Test match, the home team made up for the disappointments of earlier matches in the competition.
Samoa's pack proved devastating in the set piece with locks Filipo Levi and Kane Thompson, dominated the lineouts. Prop Census Johnston was also outstanding and was rewarded with two tries, the first of the game in the Samoa's bonus points scoring effort in the first half, and a fine supporting try in the second.
Generally, through the first two-thirds of the game, it was the control of fly half Loki Crichton that created the platform for Samoan dominance. His stylish break created the try of the game for wing David Lemi.
Crichton’s pass found Lemi who spun around to sneak along the sideline as he regained his balance before out-pacing the defence for his try in the 27th minute. It was a classy moment.
Lemi had more of a chance to show his solo skills when storming through on a midfield burst that opened up the Tongan defence on a 40m run to score his second try and bring up the Samoan half-century, six minutes from ful ltime.
Flanker Ulia Ulia and hooker Mahonri Schwalger completed the try scoring in the first half as Samoa moved out to a 29-3 lead.
The lack of Tongan expertise on attack was exemplified in the last stages of the first half when the side laid siege to the Samoan line, without being able to find any way through some solid defence.
Manu Samoa 50
Tries: Johnston 2, Lemi 2, Ulia, Schwalger, Tuilaga
Con: Crichton 4, Lui 2