Australia vs Samoa
10:30am Saturday 7th September
David Pocock created a successful yield using a hard-fought 34-15 victory over Samoa as the Wallabies bidding farewell to Australia at Western Sydney Stadium on Saturday in their final match ahead of the Rugby World Cup.
Flanker Pocock, enjoying his first game since March 8 and sidelined by injury for most of the year, captained the home side in place of the relaxed Michael Hooper and managed 58 minutes before making way.
The two world champions were 22-3 in front at half-time with Pocock having provided the pass for lock Adam Coleman to score the first of Australia’s six tries.
Scored the selection of those scores if he rampaged past four defenders with center Adam Ashley-Cooper along with flanker Lukhan crossing half-time.
Samoa centre Matt To’omua crossed in the previous ten minutes to see the hosts to success and hit back after the break with Dwayne Polataivao scoring the two of their tries but winger Dane Haylett-Petty.
“It was a difficult one, plenty of big hits. Nevertheless, it was good to be back out there, really pleasurable,” said Pocock.
“There is a lot to work on there, I thought some of our silhouette was really good but it did catch a bit stop-start occasionally, they place us under stress and there’s a couple things in scrum time we’ll work on.”
Following the first had finished with an injury, samoa threatened a repeat of the upset they attained in Sydney in 2011.
Starting scrumhalf Scott Malolua needed a test debut to forget, dislocating his shoulder at a ruck that is try-line to place his involvement from the World Cup in doubt.
His replacement Polataivao made an immediate effect, however, scoring his first try following the Pacific islanders had mastered the attacking scrum and the second eight minutes later following a line-break from center Reynold Lee-Lo.
“It was a difficult first halfwe gave up four tries through mistakes along with a high quality side like Australia are likely to capitalise,” said Manu Samoa skipper Tusi Pisi.
“The boys have worked quite hard during the previous month and hopefully we can put in some decent performances in the World Cup.”
Australia came through front but there will be some concern at Coleman leaving the area with what looked like a thumb problem after 56 minutes.
Coach Michael Cheika, that led Australia to the last four years back from England, will require reassurance from the fact he fielded a side quite different from that expected to begin the World Cup opener against Fiji at Sapporo on Sept. 21.
The Wallabies confront Uruguay Wales and Georgia in Pool D, whereas Samoa are in Pool A with hosts Japan, Ireland, Scotland and Russia.