It’s crunch time for Samoans
Pool D is living up to its name as the pool of death
Samoa opened their campaign in true Samoan style against Namibia to a huge crowd in Rotorua on Wednesday.
The sun shone on a beautiful afternoon and Samoa did also.
A dominant performance by their forward pack provided a great platform for their backs to run around. Their scrum was in complete control over Namibia and the kicking of Pisi gave them good field position.
Tuilagi lived up to the hype and ran in three tries, he just needs to transfer the ball to his outside arm so he can fend off the tacklers.
Namibia won possession stakes but their missed tackles proved the turning point, otherwise the stats were fairly even.
South Africa proved too strong for Fiji at the Cake Tin in Wellington. I thought the result would have been a lot closer but the experience of South Africa proved too much.
South Africa needed to put on a good performance after sneaking through against Wales and they did. They hammered Fiji in close to the ruck, drawing in defenders which created gaps for their backs to run through.
The Springboks dominated the game with attacking rugby and strong defence, allowing Fiji only three points on the board. Fiji will be disappointed considering their run out against Namibia and both teams had seven days to prepare for the game.
The match of the week was the rematch of the 91/99 world cup pool games of Samoa/Wales to a sell-out crowd in Hamilton.
Samoa was looking for an upset and Wales was looking for revenge. The game lived up to all its expectations and kept the vocal crowd on the edge of their seats.
Gatland showed respect for Samoa and named his strongest lineout, unfortunately for Samoa, injuries received in the first game didn’t recover and Pisi was missed at first five. Lavea had a mare and should have been replaced early, I would have moved Kahn out to first five a lot earlier.
Samoa had more possession and were dominant around the ruck and maul but the fatigue factor began to set in in the second half, being their second game in four days. Some soft tackles deep in the Welsh half led them to score the matchwinning try.
The bonus point could be the deciding factor to get Samoa through to the next round, they are sitting in second place.
South Africa play Namibia on Thursday and will probably use this game to rest a few players.
The match of the week will be Fiji/Samoa on Sunday at Eden Park. Samoa needs to win with a bonus point to stay in contention and Fiji will be looking for their second win. It will be an epic battle of the Pacific.