SYDNEY – David Pocock made a successful return as the Wallabies bid farewell to Australia with a hard-fought 34-15 victory over Samoa at Western Sydney Stadium on Saturday in their final match before the Rugby World Cup.
Flanker Pocock, sidelined by injury for most of the year and playing his first match since March 8, captained the home side in place of the rested Michael Hooper and managed 58 minutes before making way for fresh legs.
The twice world champions were 22-3 in front at halftime with Pocock having provided the pass for lock Adam Coleman to score the first of Australia's six tries in the eighth minute.
Winger Marika Koroibete, who looked dangerous throughout, scored the pick of those scores when he rampaged past four defenders in the 16th minute, with centre Adam Ashley-Cooper and flanker Lukhan Salakaia-Loto also crossing before halftime.
Samoa hit back after the break with Dwayne Polataivao scoring both of their tries but winger Dane Haylett-Petty and centre Matt To'omua crossed in the last 10 minutes to see the hosts safely to victory.