Samoa fight back to edge Wasps

Date published: September 5 2015

Samoa continued their World Cup preparations with a hard-fought 25-19 victory over Wasps at Ricoh Arena on Saturday.

The Islanders were trailing 19-18 with two minutes left on the clock before a powerful scrum set up the match-winning try.

Wasps led 12-3 at half time thanks to tries from Nathan Hughes and Christian Wade.

The first try came after Jimmy Gopperth showed smart footwork to beat one man before setting up quick possession, allowing Joe Simpson to feed Hughes, who shrugged off a couple of tackles and went over in the left corner.

The second came after George Smith affected a trademark turnover, leading to a Ben Jacobs break down the right and a perfect chip forward for Wade, who collected the ball and went over close to the corner.

Mike Stanley put Samoa on the board with a 40-metre penalty in the 31st minute as it finished 12-3 to Wasps at half-time. 

Stanley would add a second penalty immediately after the break to cut the deficit even further.

Nine minutes later, Samoa grabbed a 13-12 lead when loose forward Faifili Levave crashed over after picking up a loose ball 10 metres out. Stanley converted to put the visitors in front.

Maurie Faasavalu then charged 50 metres up the field after a turnover at the line-out and the ball was quickly moved out wide, allowing Faatoina Autagavaia to touch down in the left corner.

Stanley’s conversion was wide, leaving Samoa 18-12 ahead with 25 minutes to go.

Wasps weren't done yet, however, and after an extended period of pressure, James Gaskell gathered a loose ball close to the Samoa tryline and broke through the defence to score, with Alex Lozowski’s conversion putting his side 19-18 ahead with just three minutes to play.

There was more late drama, however, as a massive scrum from the Samoans disrupted Wasps' possession on their own 5m line, allowing Wayne Avei to gather the ball and crash over for the winning try, which Patrick Faapale converted.

The scorers:

For Wasps:
Tries: Hughes, Wade, Gaskell
Cons: Gopperth, Lozowski

For Samoa:
Tries: Levave, Autagavaia, Avei
Cons: Stanley, Faapale
Pens: Stanley 2

Wasps: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Ben Jacobs, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 George Smith, 6 Sam Jones, 5 James Gaskell, 4 James Cannon, 3 Simon McIntyre, 2 Carlo Festuccia, 1 Matt Mullan (c).
Replacements: 16 Ashley Johnson, 17 Tom Bristow, 18 Ian Williams, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Guy Thompson, 21 Thomas Young, 22. Alex Rieder, 23 Dan Robson, 24 Alex Lozowski, 25 Brendan Macken, 26 James Downey.

Samoa: 15 Tim Nanai-Williams, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 George Pisi, 12 Johnny Leota, 11 Fa'atoina Autagavaia, 10 Mike Stanley, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Ofisa Treviranus (c), 7 TJ Ioane, 6 Alafoti Faosiliva, 5 Joe Tekori, 4 Faifili Levave, 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Motu Matu'u, 1 Viliamu Afatia.
Replacements: 16 Sakaria Taulafo, 17 Ole Avei, 18 Jake Grey, 19 Filo Paulo, 20 Maurie Fasavalu, 21 Vavao Afemai, 22 Patrick Fa'apale, 23 Paul Perez.

Venue: Ricoh Arena, Coventry
Referee: Neil Hennesey (Wales)