Samoa maintain Rugby World Cup 2021 hopes with six-try defeat of Tonga

Manusina maintained their impressive record against their Pacific Island neighbours, and booked a place at the Final Qualification Tournament for RWC 2021 with a 40-0 win in Auckland.

Samoa booked their place in the Final Qualification Tournament for Rugby World Cup 2021 with a 40-0 defeat of Tonga at the Trusts Arena in Auckland.

Manusina winger Tori Iosefo scored two of her side’s six tries, while full-back Makayla Eli added 10 points with the boot to ensure that Samoa remain in the hunt for a place at New Zealand 2021.

“Thank you to our families in Samoa, everyone for their prayers,” Samoa captain Masuisui Pauaraisa said. 

“We’ve only been together for a week and it’s amazing, the girls have improved and improved every single training. We trusted our game plan, we’re going through!”

Samoa start strongly

The teams had been scheduled to meet in Apia in April, but the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic ensured that the match had to be postponed.

Manusina had won the previous meeting between the teams 68-7 two years ago, and they took the lead in the ninth minute on Saturday as Eli struck a penalty through the posts.

The full-back was involved again seven minutes later as number eight Nina Foaese and replacement scrum-half Jhana Magale combined for a set-piece move that ended with Iosefo dotting down in the right corner.

Eli missed the conversion, but a penalty soon after stretched the Samoa lead to 11 points. 

Manusina were well on top by now, and a flowing team move gave them a second try in the 28th minute. 

Hooker Margaret Vaiouga was brought down within metres of the line, but her front-row colleague Marilyn Live picked up from the ruck and burrowed over to score. Eli added the conversion to make the score 18-0.

Samoa stretched their advantage even further before half-time as Iosefo notched her second try of the afternoon. The right wing brushed off her opposite number, Taina Halasima, as she powered over in the right corner once again.

Tonga pay the penalty

Tonga began the second half determined to make a dent in their 23-point deficit. But, they were reduced to 14 players in the 51st minute as Nina Hurrell was shown a yellow card for an infringement at the breakdown as Samoa once again closed on their line.

And, it took Manusina less than a minute to make their numerical advantage count as Onjeurlina Leiataua spotted a mismatch in the Tongan defence and arced her run perfectly to score. Eli added her second conversion to give Samoa a 30-0 lead.

Tonga’s task was made even tougher heading into the final quarter as replacement prop Elisha Byrne was sent off for a dangerous tackle following consultation between referee Rebecca Mahoney and TMO Lee Jeffrey.

The decision temporarily gave Samoa a two-player advantage, and they exploited the gaps in the Tongan defence to score a fifth try as Leilani Erwin finished in the right corner.

Tonga ended the match with 13 players as Meleane Fifita was sent to the sin bin. Shortly afterwards, impressive replacement prop Luti Sikoloni found herself in space and powered over from 10 metres to score Samoa’s sixth and final try to confirm a 40-0 victory.

READ MORE: RUGBY WORLD CUP 2021 Draw to be confirmed in Auckland next week >>

Last updated: Nov 16, 2020 12:03:58 PM
Rugby - 2019 Rugby Africa Womens Cup - South Africa v Kenya - Bosman Stadium - Brakpan - South Africa
Women's Rugby World Cup Feature News Tournament News Women in Rugby women-news-2021 RWC2021
Zenay Jordaan “proud” of South Africa career as she looks ahead to Rugby World Cup 2021
The Springbok Women fly-half talks to World Rugby about her 11-year international career, which could stretch to a sixth Rugby World Cup appearance in 2021.
Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens 2019 - Women's
Olympics Women's News Tournament News Women in Rugby Women-news-sevens
The seven rules driving Japan women’s Tokyo 2020 preparation
Team manager Akane Kagawa gave an insight into the Sakura’s Olympic ambitions during a recent appearance on Asia Rugby Live.
Rugbaí Beo
Women's Feature News Women in Rugby women-news-regions
“TG4 have set the benchmark — it's up to everyone else to follow suit”
Máire Treasa Ní Dhubhghaill, Eimear Considine, Máire Ní Bhraonáin and Kieran Hartigan talk to World Rugby about the Rugbaí Beo broadcast which made Irish history.
Rugby World Cup 2021 Draw
Women's Rugby World Cup News Tournament News Women in Rugby mz-advisory women-news-2021 RWC2021
Rugby World Cup 2025 set to break new ground as tournament expands to 16 teams
World Rugby has confirmed that the women’s edition of the Rugby World Cup will expand to 16 teams from 2025 onwards.
Photo of former Japan captain and founder of One Rugby, Toshiaki Hirose
Women's Sevens Men's Rugby World Cup News Women in Rugby RWC2019
One Rugby: A new movement promoting the sport from former Japan captain Toshiaki Hirose
Former Japan captain Toshiaki Hirose and his non-profit One Rugby are behind a new movement to promote all forms of rugby amongst the Japanese people.
New Zealand v Wales - Rugby World Cup 2019: Bronze Final
Olympics Women's Rugby World Cup News Tournament News Women in Rugby
Six of rugby’s best crossover athletes
From Sonny Bill Williams to Christian Wade, we recap six of the best players to have left their mark in rugby while playing to a high level in another sport.
Su Carty
Women's Feature News Women in Rugby women-news-power
Su Carty put scholarship plans on hold to answer ‘Ireland’s Call’
The World Rugby Council and IRFU Committee member returned to work as a psychiatric nurse in Dublin during Ireland’s initial period of lockdown.
Photo of Brazil sevens player Baby Futuro at Rio 2016
Women's Sevens News Preview Women in Rugby Women-news-sevens
Women’s sevens returns in South America as they bid farewell to a star
Women’s rugby sevens returns in Uruguay with the annual South American Sevens, played in Montevideo this weekend. The tournament, which will mark Baby Futuro’s final outing for Brazil, will be streamed live on the SAR’s app.
Rugby World Cup joint host selection process
Women's Sevens Rugby World Cup News Tournament News Women in Rugby mz-advisory rwc-neutral
Key elements approved for future Rugby World Cup awarding
The World Rugby Council has approved a progressive package of recommendations by the Rugby World Cup Board that reflects the organisation’s ambition to select future men’s and women’s Rugby World Cup hosts via a transparent, best-practice host selection process.
Wales Women coaches Warren Abrahams and Rachel Taylor
Women's Rugby World Cup Feature News Tournament News Women in Rugby women-news-2021 Women-news-coach RWC2021
Warren Abrahams and Rachel Taylor “building for the future” in Wales
The incoming Wales head coach and skills coach hope to inspire future generations of female players while creating a stable and competitive environment.