The Samoa A rugby team has created history by winning the World Rugby America’s Pacific Challenge, defeating host nation Uruguay 38-26 in a tough final.
Uruguay dominated possession behind their powerful scum to lead 12-10 at halftime, but Samoa’s attacking prowess came through with five tries. The tries were all converted by D’Angelo Leuila to seal victory for the Pacific Island team yesterday.
The Americas Pacific Challenge was introduced in 2016 to boost the high-performance pathway for the test arena and to support the Americas Rugby Championship and Pacific Nations Cup as well as November international test window preparation.
The six "A" team tournament includes two teams each from the Pacific Islands, North America and South America.
This year's tournament saw reigning champions Argentina XV compete alongside Canada A, Samoa A, Tonga A, Uruguay A and USA Selects.
The World Rugby Americas Pacific Challenge will be a first-past-the-post tournament format, played across three competition rounds on from October 6-14. Teams in Pool A played the teams in Pool B once, and teams in Pool B faced teams in Pool A once. The tournament winner was decided by the total number of competition points accumulated in the three matches played.
Meanwhile the Samoa rugby 7s team at the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina were comprehensively beaten 50-7 by the home team Argentina last Saturday.
The opening campaign by Samoa’s rugby team has not gone according to plan with the team going on to draw 24-24 with the U.S.A. before losing again to Japan 29-0 and succumbing to France 15-10 yesterday. The team was scheduled to play South Africa early this morning in their last pool competition before the playoffs.
In terms of the other sports, Team Samoa’s chef de mission Nynette Sass said the archery competition began on Sunday for Samoa’s Jil Walter with the ranking competition set for Friday. In weightlifting, Lesila Fiapule bombed out on her snatch discipline yesterday and was therefore unable to progress to the Clean and Jerk and retired from the competition.
Nynette said Jil Walters had a competitive international mix team yesterday with a Chinese partner and has a day-off today but is back at the range training. The individual competition starts today.
In boxing, Samoa’s super heavy weight boxer in the 91+kg category, Vaisilika Toalua, lost his first preliminary bout yesterday afternoon. He had a shoulder injury but was able to finish the match, according to Nynette. He has two more fights in his weight category and will need to win to progress. Boxers Jance Poutoa (75kg) and Malcolm Matthes (91kg) had their first fights yesterday, but the results were not available at the time of printing.