Warriors claim PRC title as Tonga beats Samoa
26 March, 2011
|Fiji Warrior Sekonaia Kalou with the 2011 PRC trophy won for the third time in a row by the Fiji Warriors. |
The Air Pacific Fiji Warriors claimed the Pacific Rugby Cup for the third year in a row after Tonga A came back at the death to beat Samoa A 15-13 in a nail biting contest. With the Warriors only three points ahead of Samoa A on the table it meant Tonga A had to defeat the Samoans in order to ensure victory.
The Tongans raced away to an early lead after a 10th minute penalty from winger Edmond Paea followed by a 29th minute try from centre Mateo Malupo who cut through fragile defense from Samoa A to score in the near corner.
In fact Tonga A could have had two more first half tries however poor finishing let them down on both occasions. In the 24th minute flanker Joseph Kolokihakaufisi knocked on over the Samoa goal line and just a minute before the break winger Soane Sinisa collected a poor Roger Warren kick only for his pass to flyhalf Edmond Paea to be judged forward with the Samoa A defense completely beaten.
The Tongans went to the changing rooms 8-nil up but after the breather the Samoans finally found their form.
Winger Titi Esau claimed a penalty in the 41st minute and then concerted pressure on the Tongan goal line coupled with indiscipline by the Friendly Islanders in the 62nd minute, enabled reserve hooker Pelesiusi Fualau to take a quick tap from a penalty five metres from the goal line and score a relatively soft try under the posts. Esau made no mistake with the conversion as Samoa A took the lead 10-8.
It was a lead that was extended in magnificent fashion in the 76th minute when Samoa A captain Roger Warren struck a 50 metre drop goal.
With the game seemingly out of reach the Tongans made one last assault into the Samoan half. Claiming a penalty deep into injury team Tonga had no choice but to go for the try as Paea found touch five meters from the Samoan goal line.
From the ensuing play the Tongans sucked the Samoan defense into the maul and then swung the ball wide for Ahofono Alovili to score in the far corner.
With the scores locked at 13-all Paea nailed the conversion from out wide and the Tongans had snatched victory from what had seemed certain defeat. Tongan A’s win meant joy for the Fiji Warriors enabling them to claim the 2011 PRC trophy. SAMOA A
1.Heroshi Tea, 2.Viliamu Afatia, 3.Logovii Mulipola, 4.Nifo Nifo, 5.Maselino Paulino, 6.Levi Asifaamatala, 7.Iosefa Timusa, 8.Misioka Timoteo, 9.Morgan Salesa, 10.Roger Warren (C), 11.Titi Esau, 12.David Masoe, 13.Herman Porter, 14.Pesamino Alauni, 15.Ian Aokuso Reserves
16.Pelesiusi Fualau, 17.Reupena Leilua, 18.Apinelu Latu, 19.Paul Tuala, 20.Falemiga Selesele, 21.Faatalatala Fagasoaia, 22.Tenari Saumani TONGA A
1.Maleko Latu, 2.Atonio Halangahu, 3.Makoni Finau, 4.Alfred Pinomi, 5.Samisoni Laina Katoa, 6.Tevita Ula (VC), 7.Joseph Kolokihakaufisi, 8.Matini Tupou, 9.Soane Havea (C), 10.Edmond Paea, 11.Soane Sinisa, 12.Damien Fakafanua, 13.Mateo Malupo, 14.Ratu Maafu, 15.Viliami Hakalo Reserves
16.Joahannzi Vi, 17.Viliami Pola, 18.Ofa Faingaanuku, 19.Samisoni Masima, 20.Kaho Paula, 21.Ahofono Alovili, 22.Finau Ofa