Samoa stun France

Rugby League

Rugby League

DAVE HADFIELD

France 10 Western Samoa 56

Wales saw for themselves what they will face in their Halifax Centenary World Cup group decider in Swansea on Sunday when a rampant Samoan side destroyed the depleted French.

Samoa showed that they are capable of embarrassing their hosts to reach a semi-final against England.

The first bad day of the World Cup, with drug stories and a thin crowd at Cardiff threatened briefly to turn into a bad night for Samoa. The side which had never played together was still getting acquainted when the French prop, Karl Jaavuo, stood tall in the tackle to slip the ball away for Pierre Chamorin to score.

It did not take long for the stronger, faster Samoans to get into their stride. Tony Tatupu soon opened their scoring from close range and Paki Tuimavave followed his own kick through to claim the second.

Sam Panapa only on the field briefly as a blood-bin substitute, made his mark with a dummying crossfield run to send in Va'aiga Tuigamala and Samoa's fourth try came when Vila Matautia took a pass from Louie Swan.

With their captain, John Schuster, in typically metronomic goal-kicking form for four conversions and a penalty, Samoa were already setting up an intriguing decider against Wales.

France lost one of their few chances to cross the line when Patrick Entat's pass to Chamorin was ruled forward. Almost immediately, Tea Ropati's ball released Tuigamala for his second as Samoa made sure there was no slackening of their control.

The St Helens forward Matautia picked up his second when the French defence took his dummy, and Tuigamala's pass made Tatupu another Samoan to register a second try.

Within a minute of coming on, Apollo Perelini, demonstrated the depth on Samoa's bench by going over for yet another try.

Bryan Laumatia went in for Samoa's ninth try, although Didier Cabestany got a consolation for France before Swann rounded it off for the winners

WESTERN SAMOA: P Tuimavave (North Harbour); Laumatia (Cronulla), Schuster (capt, Halifax), Tuigamala (Wigan), Koko (Narandera); Rapati (Auckland), Swann (Auckland); Solomona (Auckland), Poching (Auckland), Afoa (Penrith), Tatupu (Auckland), Matautia (St Helens), T Tuimavave (Auckland). Substitutes: Vagana (Auckland) for Afoa (35 mins), Elia (Albi) for Koko (59 mins), Panapa (Salford) for Tuigamala (66 mins), Perelini (St Helens) for Solomona (57 mins).

FRANCE: Banquet (Sheffield); Coles (Catalan), Garcia (St Esteve), Chamorin (St Esteve), Mons (Carcassonne); Fages (Pia), Entat (capt, Avignon); Boudebza (St Esteve), Torreilles (Pia), Jaavuo (Pia), Baudouin (Carpentras), Cabestany (Catalan), Valero (Lezignin). Substitutes: Teixido (Limoux) for Jaavuo (15 mins), Jampy (St Esteve) for Boudebza (47 mins), Tisseyre (Limoux) for Torreilles (57 mins).

Referee: K Jeffes (Australia).

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