FIJI AND SAMOA played out an absolutely thrilling 30-30 draw yesterday in the Pacific Nations Cup, Samoa coming from 27-10 down to snatch a tie in the dying minutes.
As usual with these sides, there were some enormous hits during the 80 minutes, with the surname “Tuilagi” featuring prominently.
We also saw eight fantastic tries though, the pick of which was Fiji’s second, as some sensational handling allowed Glasgow Warriors second row Leone Nakarawa pop up on the shoulder and go in under the posts for his second try in a matter of minutes, after some gorgeous offloads in the build-up.
Gabiriele Lovobalavu put in some huge hits for the Fijians and this one early in the game seriously rattled Johnny Leota.
First big hit for Samoa was the second youngest in the Tuilagi family, number 8 Sanele Vavae, who left the Fijians flat on their backside as he bounced up the middle of the pitch.
However, once they finally grounded him, it was the Fijians who got the last laugh, as Gabiriele Lovobalavu once again timed his run to perfection, smashing outhalf Michael Stanley.
Not to be outdone by his little brother, Alesana Tuilagi also popped up to cut through Waisea Nayacalevu like a machete. With Nayacalevu waiting for a hanger to come down from the sky, Tuilagi stood patiently, before splicing the winger in two as soon as he hit the ground.
To quote the commentary team from this game: “Good night nurse! Put the light out! Go to bed!”
The big hits continued into the second half, with this one from Asaeli Tikoirotuma being the pick of the bunch. With Samoa looking to clear the ball, he timed his smash on scrumhalf Pele Cowley to absolute perfection.
Cowley gets hit right as he tries to follow through on the ball, and the follow through only adds to the dramatics of the tackle.
Some huge, legal hits from both sides in an eight try thriller.
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