Australia vs Samoa
10:30am Saturday 7th September
David Pocock made an effective yield as the Wallabies bidding farewell to Australia in Western Sydney Stadium on Saturday in their final match ahead of the Rugby World Cup with a victory over Samoa.
Flanker Pocock, playing his first game since March 8 and sidelined by injury for the majority of the season, managed 58 minutes before making way for fresh legs and captained the home side.
The world champions were 22-3 facing half-time with Pocock having provided the pass for lock Adam Coleman to evaluate the first of Australia’s six tries.
With flanker Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and center Adam Ashley-Cooper also crossing half-time if he rampaged four defenders in the 16th minute winger Marika Koroibete, that looked dangerous throughout, scored the selection of those scores.
Samoa hit back after the break and center Matt To’omua spanned to see the hosts to success.
« It was a rough one, lots of big hits. But it was good to be out there, very enjoyable, » said Pocock.
« There’s a lot to work on the market, I thought some of our shape was really good but it did catch somewhat stop-start at times, they place us under stress and there’s a couple of things at scrum time we will operate on. »
Following the first had ended with an accident, samoa temporarily threatened a repeat of those upset they achieved in their final match against the Wallabies in Sydney in 2011 by using their resurgence in the second half.
Starting scrumhalf Scott Malolua had a test debut to overlook, dislocating his shoulder at a ruck to put his participation in the World Cup in doubt.
His replacement Polataivao made an immediate impact, however, scoring his first try in the 53rd minute following the Pacific islanders had ruled the attacking scrum and the next eight minutes later after having a line-break from center Reynold Lee-Lo.
« It was a tough first halfwe gave up four tries through mistakes and a high top 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. »
Although there’ll be a concern at Coleman with what seemed like a thumb issue after 56 minutes, leaving the area, australia came through unscathed on the injury front.
Coach Michael Cheika, that led Australia to the last four years ago from England, will require reassurance from the fact he fielded a side very different from that anticipated to begin the World Cup opener against Fiji in Sapporo on Sept. 21.
The Wallabies face Uruguay, Wales and Georgia in Pool D, while Samoa are in Pool A with hosts Japan, Ireland, Scotland and Russia.