Wow what a finish to this tournament, as all these teams build to the Rugby World Cup. Here’s my review of all the action.
Pacific Nations Cup
Fiji 39 – 29 Samoa
Tonga 31 – 20 Japan
USA 15 – 13 Canada
1 from 3, I got the trajectory of the teams totally wrong.
Fiji sent waves of people on Twitter into a frenzy saying Pool A just got more interesting. Maybe, then again I don’t think those games will be this high scoring. As they have done in a couple of games recently, Fiji raced into an early 17-3 lead. Samoa pegged them back in the second half and took the lead with two tries. Unlike the other times though Fiji rallied and took control of the game on the hour mark. Samoa did get a try back but it was too little too late as Fiji managed to seal the win. Samoa stumbled a little in this tournament, not only coming up short in this game but also struggling to put away a disappointing Canadian side. Samoa are the one that many people think can make the quarter finals but they will need to improve on this form.
Japan took an early lead in the first half which went to and fro ending with Tonga leading by 5 at half time. Japan took the lead back with another couple of penalties, but a second Tonga try gave them the lead. Japan’s in-discipline then came to haunt them as a yellow card reduced them to 14 men for the last ten minutes and ended any hope of a come back. Tonga took advantage to seal the win with a third try. Tonga improved of the tournament and are building nicely. Japan though had rumours of off-field disagreements in the squad and poor results, can they turn it around in time?
When the highlights for a game start at 70 minutes it’s a fair bet that it wasn’t a thriller. Canada took at 1 point lead via an individual try via a strong kick return. Trying a cross field kick on halfway has to be questionable. The USA though marched down the pitch and with the last kick of the game won with a drop goal. That’s 4 losses including 2 with the last play of the game, the Rugby World Cup has to be a worry for them. The USA will be looking for a more attacking edge as they need to score more tries.
Join in the predicting fun, I’m running leagues for the Currie Cup, ITM Cup and NRC. Also enjoy the excitement of the up coming Rugby World Cup by joining the August Internationals and Rugby World Cup leagues as well.