HEIDELBERG – Samoa beat Germany 108-43 on aggregate to take their place in Pool A alongside Ireland, Scotland, hosts Japan and Russia at Rugby World Cup 2019.
After winning the first leg 66-15 in Apia two weeks ago, qualification was virtually inevitable for Samoa, and they then made sure of it in Heidelberg.
“Obviously, we’ve been together for a long six weeks, and we have enjoyed ourselves together and it has brought us closer together,” Samoa captain Chris Vui, who attended the post-match press conference draped in a Samoan flag, said.
“The game was a bit patchy, there were definitely a lot of errors that we thought we could have executed better, definitely in the lineout and dropped balls in general.
“It always goes back to those little errors with our team. It’s not a skill thing, is just execution. We can definitely work on it, it’s not a problem.”
Having arrived in Europe with a 66-15 advantage from the first leg in Apia, the visitors were all-but-assured of their place in Pool A. However, an unlikely defeat looked to be on the cards when the hosts took a 28-21 lead with less than 15 minutes remaining.
Samoa had paid the price for an error-strewn performance but clicked into gear as Ah See Tuala – Samoa’s standout player over the two legs – scored twice either side of an Ed Fidow try to break Germany’s resolve and spare his own side’s blushes.
Tuala finished the match with 22 points, while Fidow and scrum-half Melani Matavao each also touched down twice.
Tries from Jaco Otto, Samy Fuchsel and Jarrid Els, coupled with 13 points from the kicking tee had put the hosts within touching distance of arguably their greatest ever triumph.
But with temperatures in Heidelberg hotter than they had been in Apia on Saturday, Germany were unable to hold on as Samoa’s superior fitness told in the final 10 minutes.
African News Agency (ANA)