Australia vs Samoa
10:30am Saturday 7th September
David Pocock created an effective return as the Wallabies bid 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, sidelined by injury for most of the year and enjoying his first match since March 8, then captained the home side rather than the rested Michael Hooper and managed 58 minutes before making way.
The two world champions were 22-3 in front at half-time using Pocock having provided the pass for lock Adam Coleman to evaluate the first of Australia’s six attempts at the eighth minute.
Winger Marika Koroibete, that looked dangerous throughout, scored the selection of these scores when he rampaged previous four defenders at the 16th minute, with centre Adam Ashley-Cooper along with flanker Lukhan crossing before half-time.
Samoa centre Matt To’omua crossed in the previous ten minutes to observe the hosts and hit back after the break with Dwayne Polataivao scoring the two of their attempts but winger Dane Haylett-Petty.
“It was a tough one, tons of big strikes. Nevertheless, it was great to be back out there, very interesting,” said Pocock.
“There’s lots to work on there, I thought some of our silhouette was really great but it did catch a bit stop-start sometimes, they place us under pressure and there’s a couple things in scrum time we’ll operate on.”
Samoa temporarily threatened a repeat of the upset they attained in their game against the Wallabies in Sydney in 2011 with their resurgence in the second half after the first had ended with an injury.
Starting scrumhalf Scott Malolua had a test introduction to overlook, dislocating his shoulder in a ruck to place his involvement in the World Cup in severe doubt.
His replacement Polataivao made an impact, however, scoring his first try in the 53rd minute after the Pacific islanders had mastered an attacking scrum along with the next eight minutes later following a line-break from center Reynold Lee-Lo.
“It was a tough first half, we gave up four tries through errors along with a high quality side like Australia are going to capitalise,” said Manu Samoa skipper Tusi Pisi.
“The boys have worked really hard during the last month and hopefully we could add some good performances at the World Cup.”
But there will be a concern at Coleman with what looked after 56 minutes, leaving the area, australia came through front.
Coach Michael Cheika, who led Australia to the last four years back in England, will require pleasure from the fact that he fielded a side very different from that anticipated 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.