21 June 2008
New Zealand Maori have made it three out of three in the Pacific Nations Cup with a hard-fought 17-6 win over Samoa in Hamilton on Saturday.
Chiefs centre Callum Bruce opened the scoring after 12 minutes with a penalty when the Samoans were penalised for obstruction at a line-out.
A similar penalty offence - this one actually awarded for coming in on the side - a few minutes later saw Samoan lock Chad Slade sent to the bin for ten minutes.
The Samoans nearly made it through the ten minutes unscathed, but Bruce's grubber-kick through the defence and touchdown ensured the visitors paid the price for their indiscretions.
Piri Weepu landed the killer blow for the Maori just before half-time, capitalising on good work from Liam Messam and Thomas Waldrom to score his side's second.
Samoa regrouped and redoubled their efforts in the second half, and two penalties from full-back Gavin Williams made the score 14-6 by the hour, but there was no change to be found from the Maori defence.
For the NZ Maori:
Tries: Bruce, Weepu
Cons: Bruce 2
Pens: Williams 2
Yellow cards: Slade (Samoa, 21), Tuilagi (Samoa, 75)
New Zealand Maori: 15 Dwayne Sweeney, 14 Shannon Paku, 13 Tim Bateman, 12 Tamati Ellison (co-captain), 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Callum Bruce, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam (co-captain), 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Ross Filipo, 3 Bronson Murray, 2Hikawera Elliot, 1 Keith Cameron.
Replacements: 16 Aled de Malmanche, 17 Jacob Ellison, 18 Hoani MacDonald, 19 Scott Waldrom, 20 Chris Smylie, 21 Jason Kawau, 22 Zar Lawrence.
Samoa: 15 Gavin Williams, 14 Esera Lauina, 13 Henry Faafili, 12 Anitele'a Tuilagi, 11 David Lemi, 10 Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, 9 Junior Poluleuligaga, 8 George Stowers, 7 Semo Sititi, 6 Daniel Leo, 5 Chad Slade, 4 Filipo Levi (C), 3 Census Johnston, 2 Loleni Tafunai, 1 James Johnston.
Replacements: 16 Simon Lemalu, 17 Jeremiah Fatialofa, 18 Kane Thompson, 19 Alafoti Faosilivia, 20 Uale Mai, 21 Roger Warren, 22 Gasolo Salima.
Referee: Ian Smith (Australia).