Samoan women inch closer to Rugby World Cup 2021

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Samoa are one step closer to the 2021 Rugby Women’s World Cup, after taking down Tonga 40-0 in Auckland this afternoon.

Samoa celebrates taking another step closer to RWC 2021

Samoa celebrates taking another step closer to RWC 2021 Photo: RNZ Pacific / Talei Anderson

It was a willing start from both teams who wasted no time getting physical.

Tonga showed some promise with an early penalty and leading territory, but it didn’t take long for the Manusina to find some pace and put pressure on attack.

Samoa was awarded a penalty off the back off a bustling run, but took the sensible option to put first points on the board with Makayla Eli kicking perfectly to lead 3-0.

The Manusina continued to put pressure on attack shuffling the ball across both sides of the field but found themselves getting rattled by the Tongan’s defence.

However Samoa eventually found the perfect attacking opportunity just metres from try line, putting pressure on the scrum, Nina Foase went down the blindside, Tori Iosefo collected the ball and with space on the right scored on debut to take the score to 8-0.

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Samoa added the extras with Eli slotting another kick to extend their advantage 11-0.

A turnover for Tonga found them with the ball after a while, but too many errors meant their attacking efforts broke down.

Their scrambling defence was good initially too but faltered when it counted with Marilyn Leve scoring Samoa’s second try.

Another good conversion from Eli meant Samoa was up 18-0.

Despite sharing territory, the Tongans just couldn’t keep their hands on the ball.

Samoa’s front-rowers proved they could get the job done, and with a quick shuffle from captain Masuisui Pauaraisa to the right, Iosefo was just too hard to stop on the corner to collect her second of the day.

The conversion went wide but the Samoan team took a 23-0 advantage to the sheds.

Tonga started losing discipline at the ruck in the second half and after running at the line all day, double international Onjeurlina Leaiataua was able to collect her first for the Manusina, using space and pace to dive over for a try.

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Eli impressed with the boot again and extended Samoa’s lead to 30-0.

Another couple of scores including to impact bench player Luti Sikoloni, left the final score at 40-0.

The Manusina will advance to the final qualification tournament next year, but the time and place for that is still undecided, after the European Championship was postponed earlier this week.

Nine teams have already confirmed their place at the RWC 2021, seven through their final ranking at Ireland 2017, (New Zealand, England, France, USA, Canada, Australia and Wales), with South Africa and Fiji joining them through the qualification process.

Now Samoa are just one step away from World Cup 2021.

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