In Review

A look at the test matches from the weekend played between Samoa and Italy, Fiji and Tonga, Australia and France, and lastly Argentina and Ireland.

David Lemi Quintin Geldenhuys Italy Manu Samoa RugbySAMOA 15 vs 0 ITALY
Saturday, June 14, 01:00 GMT, Apia

The Azzurri looked totally drained in humid Apia, putting up little in the way of offense against a committed Manu Samoa. Rarely did the visitors go through more than a couple phases without either making an error or kicking the ball away. Samoa weren’t too flash with ball in hand either, but did enough to get into Italian territory on numerous occasions and earn five penalty goals from the boot of Tusi Pisi.

Of particular concern for coach Jacques Brunel will be the way the Samoan scrum manhandled the typically strong Italians. Perhaps it was the heat, or season fatigue, but they’ll have to improve markedly to deal with the technically astute Japanese, who have bested both Canada and the United States at the set piece in consecutive matches. Samoa wrap up their June series against Fiji in what could be a cracking contest.

Samoa – T. Pisi 5p

Italy – M. Bergamasco y (36)

F. Autagavaia; F. Otto (J. Leota 72), G. Pisi, A. Leiua, D. Lemi (capt.); T. Pisi (P. Fa’apale 78), K. Fotuali’i (V. Afemai 67); L. Mulipola (S. Taulafo 67), T. Paulo (O. Avei 53), J. Johnston (C. Johnston 53); F. Lemalu (M. Fa’asavalu 58), D. Leo; P. Fa’asalele, J. Lam, O. Treviranus (T. Tuifu’a 53).

L. McLean; A. Esposito, A. Masi, G. García (T. Iannone 64), G. Venditti; T. Allan (L. Orquera 64), T. Tebaldi (G. Palazzani 68); A. de Marchi (M. Aguero 53), L. Ghiraldini (A. Manici 57), L. Cittadini (D. Chistolini 53); Q. Geldenhuys (capt.), G. Biagi (M. Bortolami 66); J. Furno, M. Bergamasco, R. Barbieri (M. Vosawai 64).

Referee: G. Clancy (IRFU)
Assistants: A. Lees (ARU) & J. Leckie (ARU)
TMO: n/a

Sireli Bobo Dominiko Waqaniburotu Fiji Tonga Pacific Nations Cup RugbyFIJI 45 vs 17 TONGA
Saturday, June 14, 03:00 GMT, Lautoka

The Fijians came flying out of the gate, totally overwhelming the Ikale Tahi in the first hour of the match to run up a 28-point lead. Nemani Nadolo was again front and centre with a massive presence, scoring a try and enjoying a perfect day with the boot to end on 20 points. Watisoni Votu was another standout, touching down twice and putting in a couple brutal tackles, while esteemed wing-man Sireli Bobo was in electric form once again.

Tonga were beaten in just about every facet of play until they rang the changes in the second half. Paul Ngauamo, Steve Mafi, and Viliami Fihaki had a massive impact up front, while Samisoni Fisilau and Latiume Fosita gave them direction in the backs. Fiji host Manu Samoa next week while Tonga travel to Auckland to face a Pacific Barbarians side.

Fiji – N. Nadolo 6c 1p 1t, W. Votu 2t, S. Bobo 2t, D. Waqaniburotu 1t
Tonga – F. Apikotoa 1p, L. Fosita 2c, V. Fihaki 2t

Fiji – W. Votu y (62)

T. Nagusa (M. Talebula 49); W. Votu, A. Delai (W. Nayacalevu 70), N. Nadolo, S. Bobo; J. Ralulu, N. Matawalu (N. Kenatale 79); C. Ma’afu (J. Yanuyanutawa 49), T. Tuapati (V. Veikoso 73), M. Saulo (I. Colati 49-75); A. Ratuniyarawa (A. Naikatini 67), L. Nakarawa; D. Waqaniburotu, M. Ravulo (N. Nagusa HT), A. Qera (capt.).

T. Halaifonua; A. Taufa, S. Piutau, F. Anderson, F. Vainikolo (V. Helu 14); F. Apikotoa (L. Fosita 56), T. Takulua (S. Fisilau 64); T. Mailau (O. Fainga’anuku 48), S. Taufalele (P. Ngauamo 48), S. Puafisi (E. Aholelei 53); J. Afu, D. Faleafa (V. Fihaki 60); P. Mapakaitolo (S. Mafi 44), N. Latu (capt.), V. Ma’afu.

Referee: R. Hoffman (ARU)
Assistants: J.P. Doyle (RFU) & M. Raynal (FFR)
TMO: n/a

Yoann Huget Scott Higginbotham France Australia RugbyAUSTRALIA 6 vs 0 FRANCE
Saturday, June 14, 10:00 GMT, Melbourne

Some tackles were made, some passes were thrown, lots of kicks went in the air, and… not much happened. An inescapably uninteresting match between two sides waiting for the other to do something. Unfortunately for the fans, nobody did much of anything.

Even the usually brazen Israel Folau got caught up in World Cup fever and opted to kick rather than run, a depressing sight. France were better, Australia were worse, and it’s probably best if we just put this one behind us and move on.

Australia – B. Foley 1p, N. White 1p

France – B. le Roux y (69)

I. Folau; A. Ashley-Cooper, T. Kuridrani (P. McCabe 59), M. To’omua, N. Cummins; B. Foley (K. Beale 61), N. White (N. Phipps 78); J. Slipper (P. Cowan 72), T. Polota-Nau (N. Charles 75), S. Kepu (L. Weeks 75); R. Simmons, J. Horwill (L. Jones 59); S. Fardy (S. Higginbotham 66), M. Hooper (capt.), B. McCalman.

B. Dulin; Y.Huget, M. Bastareaud, W. Fofana, M. Medard (R. Lamerat 77); R. Tales, M. Parra (F. Michalak 75); A. Menini (T. Domingo 50), G. Guirado (B. Mach 72), R. Slimani (N. Mas 50); A. Flanquart (B. le Roux 65), Y. Maestri; Y. Nyanga (A. Burban 46), T. Dusautoir (capt.) (L. Picamoles 66), D. Chouly.

Referee: W. Barnes (RFU)
Assistants: C. Joubert (SARU) & C. Pollock (NZRU)
TMO: V. Munro (NZRU)

Lucas González Amorosino Argentina Ireland RugbyARGENTINA 17 vs 23 IRELAND
Saturday, June 14, 18:40 GMT, Tucumán

The Pumas made a leveled up Irish side work hard for its first series win in Argentina, leading by one at the break and looking quite adventurous with ball in hand, but ultimately it was the basics that let them down. Just like the previous game, it was Ireland who got the edge in the set piece, a sight which would surely be hard to stomach from senior members of the former Pumas front row union. It went from bad to worse then they lost both hookers and the starting loosehead to injury, and conceded one against the head without the ball even being hooked.

Joe Schmidt will be happy to come away with the win, though it’s difficult to see what knowledge he might have gained from any players aside from perhaps Rhys Ruddock, who excelled in his first test start. Ireland now head home to rest up for the long season ahead, while Argentina head south to Córdoba where they play hosts to Scotland.

Ireland – J. Sexton 1c 3p, I. Madigan 1c 1t, S. Zebo 1t
Argentina – N. Sánchez 1c 1p, S. González Iglesias 1c, J. Tuculet 1t, L. González Amorosino 1t

Argentina – M. Cortese y (9)
Ireland – A. Trimble y (16)

J. Tuculet (M. Orlando 48-59); L. González Amorosino, J. de la Fuente, G. Ascárate (M. Orlando 60), M. Montero; N. Sánchez (S. González Iglesias 63), M. Landajo (capt.) (T. Cubelli 64); L. Noguera Paz (R. Herrera 68), M. Cortese (S. Iglesias 27 {B. Postiglioni 64)), R. Herrera (M. Diaz 51); M. Carizza, T. Lavanini (M. Alemanno 70); R. Báez, T. de la Vega, L. Ahualli (S. Iglesias 12-19) (J. Ortega 63).

R. Kearney; A. Trimble, F. McFadden, D. Cave (N. Reid 74), S. Zebo; J. Sexton (I. Madigan 64), E. Reddan (K. Marmion 78); D. Kilcoyne (J. McGrath 58), R. Best, M. Ross (J. Cronin 74); D. Toner (I. Henderson HT), P. O’Connell (capt.); R. Ruddock (R. Herring 78), C. Henry (J. Murphy 63), J. Heaslip.

Referee: P. Gauzere (FFR)
Assistants: G. Jackson (NZRU) & L. van der Merwe (SARU)
TMO: S. Veldsman (SARU)

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