Samoa player ratings: Brave efforts throughout in near win against Ireland

Samoa's Theo McFarland on the charge. Credit: Alamy
Samoa's Theo McFarland on the charge. Credit: Alamy

Following Ireland’s nervous 17-13 victory over Samoa in Bayonne on Saturday, here are the player ratings for the Pacific side.

Big shifts

15 Duncan Paia’aua: The try scorer for Samoa on the night thanks to a ‘Falcon’ interception. Make good metres otherwise as he looked good with the ball in hand. He dealt with the high ball well in tricky conditions. 8

14 Ed Fidow: One of the less impressive performers in the backline with some touches with ball in hand and off the boot that were not ideal. However, the conditions were difficult. 6

13 Ulupano Seuteni: A very hard worker as always but given the conditions it was a difficult game for him to truly get into and make a marked influence. Still a decent shift and one to build one. 6

12 Tumua Manu: Possibly the best player in the backline tonight. He ran hard with ball in hand as the designated wrecking ball. Made a whopping 12 carries and good metres to match. Also 100% on defence. 9

11 Nigel Ah Wong: Similar to his wing partner. It was a difficult night to be in the back three and the left wing struggled for the most part to get into the game. 5

10 Lima Sopoaga: A very solid outing on his Samoa debut. The fly-half managed the game particularly well when the rain was pouring. His kicks were mostly contestable and he added a welcome balance to the Pacific side. Something to build on. 8

9 Jonathan Taumateine: Absolutely influential for Samoa. He is the heartbeat of the side in many ways. Always busy and always managing the game. Kicked well for the most part and dealt with the conditions. Needs to have a big World Cup for his team to shine. 8

Working pack

8 Steven Luatua: Would have liked him on the ball a bit more but he was still solid throughout the clash and will always add class. A tricky game to shine in but a decent shift. 6

7 Fritz Lee: Tireless! The flank worked incredibly hard throughout making 11 tackles and carrying strongly as well. He was one of the key forwards on the day in a near win. 8

6 Taleni Seu: Matched his flank partner with an impressive outing typified by his boisterous run out of his 22 metre which could have led to a try. Massive influence on the game and was a key worker for Samoa. 7

5 Theodore McFarland: The Saracens man is class and even though he had five on his back he was an extra loose forward with his mobility in the loose. In the line-out he caused problems. It was obvious before but McFarland is crucial for Manu Samoa’s World Cup prospects. 8

4 Chris Vui: Only managed half the game due to a failed HIA. Was neat enough during a rain-filled first half but an accurate rating cannot be applied. N/A

3 Paul Alo-Emile: Scrummed very powerfully during his time on the field and had the Irish pack going backwards. The tighthead was a key part of the first-half brilliance. 8

2 Seilala Lam: A tricky day to throw into the lineout and it showed although the hooker did manage alright for the most part. He made six tackles in a big shift. 6

1 James Lay: Like his prop teammate it was a strong effort in the set-piece and one that very nearly gave the Samoans a memorable win. 7

Replacements: Jordan Taufua made an impact off the bench but that was the most notable as Ireland found their feet in the second period. It is not necessarily a reflection of the substitutes’ performance but rather that the world number one’s found their feet when the rain calmed. 6

READ MORE: Samoa give Ireland fright of their lives in Rugby World Cup warm-up clash

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