By Elijah Lavett -EM TV Sports, Port Moresby
Tahiti shocked the American Samoans, beating them 20 points to 8 at the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium in the first game of the Oceania Rugby Cup today.
American Samoa came in as favorites to win, but that wasn’t the case when Tahiti struck first early in the match, through a pass from Andoni Jimenez to the Dave Lahille to draw first blood.
An unsuccessful conversion kick left the score at 5-0.
A penalty was given to the American Samoans, in Tahiti’s territory, giving them the chance to post points through a penalty kick; they failed to convert with the ball rolling into the hands of the Tahitians.
It began to get worse for the Samoans when Dave Collins was yellow carded for a late shot on Jimenez.
With American Samoa one man short, the Tahitians capitalised, and scored their second, through a driving maul, conversion was successful, bringing the score up to 12 – 0.
American Samoa struck back through Sonny Lameta muscling his way, breaking the Tahitians defense to post points. Their kicking game wasn’t on par today as Autagavaia missed the conversion, letting the ball fly loose into the stands.
The Tahitians led 12-5 at half time, in the second half American Samoa scored first with a successful penalty kick taken on Tahitis 30 metre mark, bringing their score up to 8-12.
The Tahitians replied few minutes later also from a penalty kick right in front of the Samoans goal post. And to seal the victory for the Tahitians, they managed to score after catching the American Samoans outnumbered at the corner of the field, sealing the game 20 points to 8.