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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 September 2007, 13:59 GMT 14:59 UK
Samoa v Tonga as it happened
Result: Samoa 15-19 Tonga


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By Phil Harlow


80 mins: Tonga do the professional thing and just runb down the final minute or so. With the 80 minutes up, they just whack the ball into the stands to seal a famous win.

79 mins: Tonga kick the ball away and Alesana Tuilagi calls the mark. Samoa attack from inside their own 22 and then Gavin Williams chips ahead.

Tonga make a mess of dealing with it and Samoa regain possession only for a pass out to the wing to end up straight into touch.

77 mins: Samoa make a meal of trying to get the ball wide and a knock-on is followed by a penalty conceded. Tonga kick to touch and will not be in any hurry for the line-out.

75 mins: YELLOW CARD Tonga's Toma Toke decides Hale T Pole must be lonely on the sidelines and goes in with a dangerous tackle of his own.

The referee gives him a yellow card and they are down to 13 men for the remainder of the match.

71 mins: RED CARD
Tonga blind-side flanker Hale T Pole has just totally lost his head in the last few minutes, with his discipline totally deserting him.

After receiving two stern warnings from the referee, Pole pushes his luck too far as he swings an elbow into the face of Samoa sub Leo Lafaiali'i at the ruck. Tonga could end up regretting that.

69 mins: PEN Samoa 15-19 Tonga
We're in for a nail-biting climax in Montpellier after Gavin Williams cuts the gap to four points with a penalty from in front of the posts.

Tonga had been awarded the put-in to the scrum after Samoa's Daniel Leo knocked-on in midfield but a dangerous high tackle after the whistle from Hale T Pole sees the decision go against Tonga instead.

66 mins: PEN Samoa 12-19 Tonga
Finau Maka's run forces another penalty from Samoa and Pierre Hola nails the kick to stretch his side seven points clear. Nervous times for Samoa, who have been widely tipped to push England all the way next week.

65 mins: Tonga's Finau Maka is running riot at the moment, bursting into the Samoa 22. Unless Samoa get a grip of him, they could be staring at a defeat here.

63 mins: Samoa are persisting with their policy of kicking for position but they are just not executing it very well. Kick after kick is going straight down a Tongan player's throat.

60 mins: Tonga are playing like men possessed at the moment with Finau Maka taking the kick-off and brushing Loki Crichton's attempted tackle aside and putting his side on the front foot again.

58 mins: TRY Samoa 12-16 Tonga
Tonga's forwards show great technique to drive forward, forcing Samoa to concede a penalty by collapsing the maul. It is kickable but Tonga bravely go for the corner and reap the reward when centre Epeli Taione is driven over.

That has put the cat among the pigeons, and the conversion of Pierre Hola makes things very interesting indeed.

57 mins: It's all going Tonga's way at the moment. Pierre Hola puts up a garryowen which is miles too deep but Gavin Williams, who has time to have a cup of tea, spills it to give Tonga an enticing attacking opportunity.

55 mins: After several minutes of Samoa pressure, Tonga win the penalty after Mahonri Schwalger gets himself isolated on the floor. There is nothing to choose between these teams at the moment and the next score will be pivotal.

53 mins: Samoa are finally starting to play dome rugby, with some decent passing in the backs and some great running from Seilala Mapusua opening up Tonga.

51 mins: Samoa work an overlap on the left, but scrum-half Steve So'oialo decides to go left where Tonga's massed defences are easily able to cope.

48 mins: Loki Crichton overcooks an up-and-under and replacement Tonga scrum-half Sione Tu'ipulotu who collects and sends a glorious kick back fully 50m.

Tonga are in the ascendancy at the moment.

46 mins: PEN Samoa 12-9 Tonga
Tonga are very much in this game after Pierre Hola kicks his third penalty of the match.

Samoa run offside in midfield and Hola has a straightforward kick from in front of the posts about 20m out.

44 mins: Pierre Hola puts in a teasing little kick deep into Samoan territory forcing Gavin Williams into a hurried clearance. Tonga have started well this half.

41 mins: Within a minute of the kick-off, Samao work the ball out wide to Alesana Tuilagi with some skilful passing in the backs.

The bruising winger, who has caused so much havoc in the Premiership with Leicester, is superbly marshalled by Tonga's defence though, with a brave hit by Vungakoto Lilo followed by two team-mates who bundle Tuilagi into touch.

1547: "I think both Samoa and Tonga have a chance of upsetting England!

"One of the Pacific teams might just make it to the quarter-finals."
MS on 606

40 mins: Tonga fly-half Pierre Hola has the final word in the first half with a long-range penalty, but his effort comes up just short of the posts.

The half-time whistle sounds, and the players go in for a well-earned break. It's not quite lived up to expectations so far, with Samoa content to play a fairly cagey gameplan and the big hits so far few and far between.

36 mins: PEN Samoa 12-6 Tonga
Fantastic effort from Tonga captain Nili Lati as he breaks through three tackles to get in behind Samoa.

The ball comes right but Samoa are miles offside, giving Pierre Hola the simplest of shots at goal which he gratefully accepts.

32 mins: Good improvising from Pierre Hola as he feints at a drop-goal before stepping inside and then sending a clever miss-pass out of contact to full-back Vungakoto Lilo.

The ball eventually comes to big-haired number eight Finau Maka who makes great ground inside the Samoa 22. Tonga win a scrum but go on to lose it against the head.

28 mins: YELLOW CARD & PEN Samoa 12-3 Tonga
Tonga's weakness under the high ball is being ruthlessly exploited by Samoa.

An up-and-under rains down on Joseph Vaka and he is unable to claim. Samoa try to launch an attack but a sneaky kick of the bal by Epeli Taione stops the move in its tracks and he is punished with a yellow card.

Gavin Williams kicks the resulting penalty and Samoa are stretching away.

27 mins: Alesana Tuilagi challenges opposite number Tevita Tu'ifua and the Tongan winger spills the ball.

Tuilagi hacks it forward and is unlucky not to collect it on halfway. He could well have been in under the posts if he had.

25 mins: Tonga get the break of a bouncing ball in midfield and embark on their most dangerous attack of the match. Slick passing in the backs puts Tevita Tu'ifua in space on the right wing but his feet go from underneath him as he tries to step Gavin Williams.

22 mins: PEN Samoa 9-3 Tonga
Alesana Tuilagi comes in on the scissors and causes havoc in Tonga's defence. He is eventually dragged down and Tonga again transgress at the breakdown giving Gavin Williams another three points on a plate.

19 mins: PEN Samoa 6-3 Tonga
Tonga are living on the edge here as Steve So'oialo is stopped two feet short of the line. The Tonga tackler lies all over the ball to kill it stone dead.

The referee has no choice but to award the penalty which Gavin Williams converts easily. Tonga are also warned about the number of penalties they are conceding - yellow cards could well be on the agenda.

16 mins: Loki Crichton puts up a massive up-and-under and Tonga are all at sea in dealing with it. The ball bounces around with no-one making much of an impression in terms of collecting it.

The ball eventually comes back on Samoa's side and Elvis Seveali'i chips in behind the Tonga defence in their 22.

13 mins: As expected, the battle at the breakdown is as fierce as they come. Semo Sititi concedes a penalty as he charges through on Enele Taufa , and the Tonga forwards are not impressed with his efforts.

10 mins: Samoa let Tonga off the hook yet again as Gavin Williams misses with a penalty from wide on the right after the Tongans collapse a maul.

7 mins: A major let-off for Tonga after a piece of quick-thinking from Samoa catches them napping.

Samoa winger Sailosi Tagicakibau chips down the wing and Seilala Mapusa athletically regathers beforee feeding fellow centre Elvis Seveali'i who surges for the line.

Three Tonga players get to him as he tries to score and the video official takes his time before deciding Seveali'i was just short of the try-line.

4 mins: PEN Samoa 3-3 Tonga
Samoa get back on level terms in double-quick time after Tonga infringe at the breakdown.

Full-back Gavin Williams, who played at centre against South Africa, composes himself before kicking the ball between the posts.

2 mins: PEN Samoa 0-3 Tonga
Tonga make an absolutely storming start to the match, sweeping through a series of charges.

Scrum-half Enele Taufa takes the ball into contact and Samoa refuse to roll away giving fly-half Pierre Hola the chance to kick his side ahead.

1 min: Tonga, who have lost the last nine meetings between the two teams, kick off to get this match under way. It promises to be a highly physical encounter if their previous matches in the tournament are anything to go by.

1458: Both teams go through their national anthems, but the main focus is on their respective hakas.

The two sets of players - Tonga go first - go through their routines with absolute conviction. These guys mean it.

1457: These are the players on show in France today:

Samoa: Williams; Tagicakibau, Seveali'i, Mapusua, A Tuilagi; Crichton, So'oialo; Va'a, Schwalger, Johnston, Tekori, Thompson, Leo, Ulia, Sititi (capt).
Replacements: Fuga, Salanoa, Lafaiali'I, Purdie, Polu, Lui, Lemi.

Tonga: Lilo, Tu'ifua, Hufanga, Taione, Vaka; Hola, Taufa; Tonga'uiha, Taukafa, Pulu, Afeaki, Hehea, Pole, Latu (capt), Maka.
Replacements: Lutui, Toke, Vaki, Kauhenga, Tu'ipulotu, Tupou, Tonga'uiha.

1455: The second match of the day rumbles into Montpellier with the first ever World Cup meeting between the Pacific Island neighbours.

Rugby World Cup photos
16 Sep 07 |  Rugby Union
Samoa 15-19 Tonga
16 Sep 07 |  Rugby Union
South Africa 59-7 Samoa
09 Sep 07 |  Rugby Union
Samoa RWC team guide
03 Sep 07 |  Team guides
Tonga RWC team guide
03 Sep 07 |  Team guides
Rugby union positions guide
05 Feb 07 |  Laws & Equipment


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