ACT XV downs Samoa A in last round PRC thriller

The ACT XV secured a narrow win 18-17 in their final Pacific Rugby Cup game against Samoa A in the curtain raiser at GIO Stadium in Canberra.

It was a slow start for the ACT side, with Samoa dominating possession and keeping ACT on their toes. Leads were traded between the two teams with the majority of the game played in the midfield.

Formidable defensive efforts from both teams prevented either side from taking complete control of the game proving ACTs three tries to two to be the crucial factor in the win.

“There were a couple of little errors here and there which slowed us down but apart from that we were pretty happy with everything” said ACT Captain Tim Cree who was pleased with the team’s performance but wasn't surprised by the close win with such a strong opponent.

“They were very physical, big opponents which made it pretty hard for us in ruck time but we hung onto the ball and it paid off in the end. Its good to see a win on the belt”

After claiming the first points for the game through a penalty by Rodney Iona, momentum continued for the ACT side with a breakthrough try rewarded to Stephan Van Der Walt in the far left corner in goal.

Samoa immediately struck back when Faialaga Afamasaga made a run down the middle, following with a pass to captain, Maselino Paulino, who secured the first points for Samoa. Afamasaga converted taking the team one point behind.

Conrad Hoffman went over shortly after as the siren sounded for halftime leaving ACT in the lead 13-7.

Second half continued the strong play with Misioka Timotea levelling the try points while Captain Failaga Afamasaga converted taking over the lead for Samoa.

Scrummaging difficulties affected the pace of the game slowing the tempo and allowing the ACT to regroup.

For the second time in the game, Samoa trailed behind by one point after a penalty from Afamasaga left ACT with pressure to secure possession.

Not long after, Ruaidhri Murphy hit back with a try, turning the tables in the ACTs favour returning the team’s score to the lead. Iona had difficulty converting missing three attempts for the afternoon.

Samoa attempted a drop goal with three minutes to go to secure the win but came up short crushing their hopes of victory.

UC Brumbies, Joe Tomane, played his first game back since sustaining an ankle injury in October last year. Tomane will hopefully be back next week to face the...

ACT XV 18 (Stephan Van Der Walt, Conrad Hoffman, Ruaidhri Murphy tries; Rodney Iona, penalty) bt Samoa A 17 (Faialaga Afamasaga, Misioka Timotea tries; Failaga Afamasaga two conversions, one penalty)

1. Ruaidhri Murphy
2. Siliva Siliva
3. Allan Alaalatoa
4. Dave McKern
5. Tom Staniforth
6. Jack Whetton
7. Sam Latinupulu
8. Tim Cree (c)
9. Conrad Hoffman
10. Rodney Iona
11. Joe Tomane
12. Haru Tatekawa
13. Matt Hawke
14. Stephan Van Der Walt

15. Ben Johnston
16. Carl Elliott
17. Patricio Noriega
18. Les Makin
19. Ben McGee
20. Mesu Dolokoto
21. Edan Campbell-O’Brien
22. Mitchell Connolly
23. Jack Pinchin

Samoa A
1. Aniseko Sio
2. Andrew Williams
3. Jake Grey
4. Maselino Paulino (c)
5. Tofatu Solia
6. Faalemiga Selesele
7. Oneone Faafou
8. Misioka Timoteo
9. Shane Tetzlaff
10. Faialaga Afamasaga
11. Alefosio Tapili
12. Anitelia Tuilagi
13. Meki Magele
14. Afereti Iona
15. Tila Mealoi

16. Pat Fepuleai
17. Raymond Salu
18. Reupena Leilua
19. Afioae Maiava
20. Tasi Telea
21. Vaiofaga Simanu
22. Shane Imo