Samoa gain historic win over Australia

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Samoa ran in four tries to stun Australia 32-23 in a famous and well-deserved victory yesterday that gave the Wallabies the worst possible start to their World Cup season.

The ragged Australians were simply outplayed by the Pacific Islanders, who complemented hard-hitting defence with an uncompromising effort at the breakdown to record their first win over the hosts. Alesana Tuilagi, Paul Williams, Kane Thompson, George Pisi etched their names into Samoa's history books by scoring the tries while fly-half Tusi Pisi added 12 points with his boot.

The ecstatic Samoans, cheered to the rafters by a large contingent of exiled compatriots in the 30,000 crowd at the Olympic stadium, celebrated their victory as if they had won the World Cup itself.

"It's history for us to beat the No 2o side in the world," Samoa's head coach, Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua, said. His assistant, Brian McLean, added: "Today for us was about getting some respect and, hopefully, we got some."

Australia, who open their Tri-Nations campaign against the Springboks on Saturday, scored a try in each half through the winger Digby Ioane and fly-half Matt Giteau, but they were always struggling after the visitors raced to a 17-0 lead.