Monday, July 02, 2018

Samoa edge towards RWC 2019 qualification with win over Germany

Samoa moved closer to qualifying for the 2019 Rugby World Cup with a comfortable 66-15 victory in the first leg play-off against Germany.

The home side, ranked 17th in the World Rankings (12 places higher than Germany), cruised to a 35-3 half-time lead thanks to tries from Alapati Leiua, Jack Lam and a double from both Melani Matavao and Ed Fidow.

A penalty try and further efforts from Dwayne Polataivao, Joe Tekori and a third from Fidow rounded off a commanding performance.

It was an historic first meeting between the two sides which came about in controversial circumstances. The Germans finished bottom of the Rugby Europe championship having failed to win any of their games.

They also conceded a total of 55 tries in five games.

However, due to three teams - Belgium, Spain and Romania - fielding ineligable players, Belgium and Spain were both docked 30 points, while Romania lost 40 points. 

Germany therefore progressed to the European Qualification play-off against Portugal, which they won 16-13.

It's no secret that Samoa are the better side and in all reality, deserve to make it to the World Cup next year, but Germany have made significant progress in the past 18 months and their participation in the play-offs is sure to raise the profile of the game in the football-mad country.

The two teams face each other in the second leg on July 14th in Heidelberg.

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