Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

Top14 player imposter!

JDV smashed by Benoit August

The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont

All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Samoa get off to a good start in the Pacific Nations Cup

The Pacific Nations Cup got under way this past weekend as in Tokyo defending champions Samoa beat Japan 34-15, at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Ground. Earlier in the day Tonga upset Fiji.

Samoa are building up nicely to the Rugby World Cup, with a few starts players in their ranks now that they're able to all come together and prepare for the big event. Wing Alesana Tuilagi of Leicester Tigers is one of those, and he scored twice as Samoa took advantage of some fairly weak defensive efforts.

It looked as though Samoa were going to run away with it when their score beat the time on the clock, at 17-0 after 15 minutes, but Japan pulled together and avoided a complete hiding. Coach John Kirwan has plenty of work to do ahead of the World Cup though if they still hope to achieve his goal of winning at least one match in the tournament.

At 24-15 in the second half, things looked decent for the 9700 home ground, but Samoa pulled away somewhat when George Pisi's try extended the lead and sealed the win.

The quality of the below highlights isn't fantastic, but there were some nice tries and it was a good result for the Samoans, who have some talented players in their side that are worth keeping an eye on. We'll have highlights of the other opening round game for you soon.

Time: 04:33



  • Weird to see samoans struggling in the scrum!

    Oh yeah..first..

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 05, 2011 9:30 pm  

  • Nice to see the game growing and teams like Japan doing (fairly) well.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 05, 2011 9:52 pm  

  • it's all about the technicalities in the scrum, which the japanese are very good at.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 05, 2011 9:56 pm  

  • of all the photos you pick the gayest pic for display lmao

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 05, 2011 10:11 pm  

  • Japan I think will easily win one. However there target is to actually win two games. They will likely triumph over Canada. Japan have been on a sharp upwards curve of improvement. Their last two matches against the Canucks were won 46-8 and 27-6. Japan vs Tonga will be a very interesting match I think.
    Group A probably has the most interesting combination of "minnows", as on their day any of Tonga, Canada and Japan can beat the other.

    By Blogger Rowan DeBues, at July 05, 2011 10:30 pm  

  • fiji tonga please

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 05, 2011 11:11 pm  

  • I love seeing Tuilagi play for Samoa against similar level / weaker teams. It's the only thing close to watching Lomu play again (although I know it really doesn't compare to watching the real thing).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 06, 2011 1:18 am  

  • Look at wales.. and watch out Henson.. haha here comes Samoa and Alesana tuilagi!!!.. haha

    By Anonymous fobcrusader, at July 06, 2011 2:39 am  

  • The Tonga vs Samoa game was really entertaining too. Some great tries.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 06, 2011 3:54 am  

  • meant tonga vs fiji

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 06, 2011 3:55 am  

  • fiji vs tonga highlights is up, the same dude who did that video can you post it up please

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 06, 2011 5:00 am  

  • Wales are in for a hiding

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 06, 2011 9:55 am  

  • anybody knows how much people were in the stadium?
    looks like the pacific nations cup could be a big sport event in japan

    By Anonymous GTI, at July 06, 2011 1:17 pm  

  • Not heaps. About 10,000.
    It's not the biggest deal in Japan, popular with some, but most people don't really know much about rugby.
    The World Cup might struggle a bit for attendence records in 2019.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 06, 2011 2:43 pm  

  • Some of the Japanese back rowers looked like (relatively) big lads -anyone know if they are imports in the style Hape, Vianakolo, Flutey, Henry Paul etc for England or are they just big-ole Japanese with mad hair?

    Similarly, i remeber a RWC back when I was young ('91 or '95 - I can't remember) and my dad swearing at the telly cos there was a player in the Japan v Wales match with the surname 'Ferguson': "Why the F**k is he playing for the Taffs and not us" I think was said. Anyways, turns out the our 'Mr Ferguson' was a second row playing for Japan!! Think my dad turned the telly off at that point.

    Just though I'd share that pointless anecdote from my past. sorry about that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 06, 2011 6:23 pm  

  • The no8 is Koliniasi Holani, who is Tongan. The no6 with crazy hair is the captain Takashi Kikutani who is Japanese but very muscular and similar player to Takuro Miuchi or Naoya Okubo.

    The second row you are referring to was Bruce Ferguson, who was a Fijian playing for Japan.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 06, 2011 9:27 pm  

  • Isn't Holani half japanese? His first name is Ryu.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 07, 2011 1:31 am  

  • The "Ryu" part is just a Japanese nickname given to him that he's earned through living there. His real name is Koliniasi Taumoefolau Holani.

    A similar example is Luatangi Vatuvei, who was nicknamed "Samurai".

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 07, 2011 5:27 am  

  • The World Cup might struggle a bit for attendence records in 2019.


    Japan were hitting 20,000 plus crowds when they had the junior world cup. Somehow I doubt it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 07, 2011 6:52 pm  

  • I think you'll find that you are wrong on that count.
    They got a couple large crowds for the finals and Japan games, but nothing over 20,000.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 08, 2011 1:42 am  

  • that count is correct.
    please check the Japan Rugby website. Plus, if you see the crowds they usually had in the past...compare to the now popularity of the game...you will find out that the growth is somehow in the ratio of 4:1

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 08, 2011 6:00 am  

  • Fair enough, perhaps I'm being pesisimtic.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 08, 2011 6:00 am  

  • I agree with the previous comment about the growing interest in Japans rugby. I am a Japanese and in my country, university rugby is still much popular than professional rugby. But since the year 2005, rugby became so popular especially on the international level in places like Sendai up north, Tokyo, Nagoya, Kobe, Osaka, Hanazono, all the way down to Kyushu. I dont think the current stadiums we have can host a huge crowd if everyone heads to Tokyo at chichibu stadium to watch a world cup game.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 08, 2011 6:06 am  

  • Holy shit, just realized the 10 for Japan is Shaun Webb. Went to school with him in Chch, I remember hearing he was going to play in Japan later on, but playing for them! ha

    By Anonymous Tim, at July 08, 2011 4:20 pm  

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