Samoa crush Namibia - but at a price to players

Samoa 49 Namibia 12

Samoa 49 Namibia 12

Samoa warmed up for their World Cup clash against Wales with a crushing Pool D victory in Rotorua – but it came at a price.

Leicester wing Alesana Tuilagi starred with three tries as Namibia predictably failed to counteract the trademark pace and power of the South Sea Islanders.

But there was plenty of concern for the Samoan camp when they saw fly-half Tusi Pisi and flanker Taiasina Tuifu’a go off injured in quick succession.

Goalkicker Pisi had already booted two conversions and two penalties before departing with a hamstring injury, while Tuifu’a was left nursing rib damage.

It means both players face uphill fitness fights to be available for the Wales game in Hamilton next Sunday.

Samoa wasted no time in making their mark on a contest they were expected to win comfortably when scrum-half Kahn Fotuali’i, who will join Welsh regional side the Ospreys later this season, sprinted over for a try after just 49 seconds.

Fotuali’i smashed through the attemped tackle of wing Llewellyn Winkler to claim a score that Pisi converted, and then Tuilagi crossed twice in 18 minutes to underpin a 25-0 interval advantage.

The only blot on Samoa’s copybook during the first 40 minutes was a yellow card for full-back Paul Williams, who was despatched by French referee Romain Poite following a dangerous tackle.

Williams slotted a penalty after taking over the kicking duties from Pisi, while Tuilagi effortlessly completed his hat-trick just five minutes after he saw a try disallowed when touch judge Wayne Barnes called a forward pass.

Williams added the conversion and Samoa had achieved their try-scoring bonus point with 25 minutes of the contest still remaining.

Samoa, spurred by a mighty performance from Harlequins flanker Maurie Fa’asavalu, claimed another score when Williams converted his own try.

And although Namibia centre Danie Van Wyk and fly-half Theuns Kotze collected consolation touchdowns, with Kotze landing one conversion, Samoa’s relentless scrum pressure had already told as their opponents conceded a penalty try that Williams improved.

Namibia, beaten 49-25 by Fiji in their group opener last weekend, have now conceded 98 points in two games, with matches against Wales and South Africa still to play.

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