THE CANADIAN PRESS
COLWYN BAY — The Canadian men’s rugby team dropped the first game of their Fall Tour with a 42-12 loss to Samoa on Friday.
Despite going into the last 10 minutes down 42-0, two late tries by Connor Braid and John Moonlight gave the Canadians some consolation.
"The way Samoa came out, they scored three or four tries with the little kicks behind, they attacked from the kick-offs wide which exposed us," said Canadian head coach Kieran Crowley.
"I thought our guys faced up pretty well, but we just got outplayed a little."
Samoa opened the scoring after only five minutes when Taiasina Tuifua charged through and James So’oialo converted.
Canada’s first opportunity to score came from James Pritchard’s boot, but the fullback was denied by the outside of the right hand post after 10 minutes.
So’oialo added his second penalty on 16 minutes, with Robert Lilomaiava scoring in the corner just a minute afterwards. So’oialo missed the conversion.
Lilomaiava touched down in the corner once more and a So’oialo conversion gave the Samoans a 22-0 half-time lead.
Less than two minutes into the second, Samoa added to their score when Faatiga Lemalu went over on the overlap, with So’oialo converting.
Yet Canada showed they could threaten, as Sean White broke the Samoan line. But with two defenders ahead of him, he opted to kick and chase instead of using his support runner.
So’oialo punished Canada once more on 52 minutes, kicking from near the halfway line to take the score to 32-0.
Nick Blevins was yellow carded for an offence at the breakdown at 55 minutes. So’oialo punished that one for a 35-0 lead.
Samoa’s scoring came to an end on 72 minutes with another So’oialo penalty.
Canada got on the board in the 74th as Moonlight scored, ending a move that stretched the Samoan defence.
Braid earned the Canadian’s second try in the last minute, ending a period of great runs at the Samoan defence.
Pritchard converted, for a final score of 42-12 to Samoa.
I think in the first twenty minutes, we were a bit too eager to hit the ruck, but minus that period, the positives we can take are that we played right to the end, scored a couple of good tries, and I think we played some good rugby," said Braid.