By: Benedict Chanakira (BC)
Both sides scored one try with George Moala touching down for the All Blacks on debut, while Dan Carter kicked the conversion and six penalties. This was proper Test rugby and the depleted Al Black side, still managed to get the business done.
It is the lowest score by New Zealand in a test against Samoa, while the nine points is their smallest margin. It was a typical first-up performance by the All Blacks, who struggled in the conditions and against a determined home side. On wondes if they will improve on adapting to conditions.
The New Zealanders were inaccurate in a number of areas, especially with ball handling.
Carter’s successful goal kicking allowed the All Blacks to build scoreboard pressure in a tight first half before he produced a pinpoint cross kick for winger George Moala to score a try on debut to open a 19-3 lead after half-time.
Contrary to belief the first-five was exceptional at 10 for the Crusaders in the last few Super Rugby games and he managed to dictate the game against Samoa. If he could replicate the accurate goal kicking up North, New Zealand could very well defend their World Cup.
Samoa flyhalf Tusi Pisi slotted nine points for the home side, who put the All Blacks under pressure in the second half to get back to 22-16 after Alafoti Fa’osiliva’s try following two storming runs up the middle of the park. The All Blacks appear to have got through the game without any injury concerns.
All four debutants got time for the All Blacks, wing George Moala started, while prop Nepo Laulala, halfback Brad Weber and centre Charlie Ngatai came off the bench.
It is the first time the All Blacks have played a test in Samoa. This was the sides’ sixth meeting. Springbok fans will need to shiver just a little as this highlights how tough the Samoans are. There will be no time to use a weaker 23 against them as they could very well beat them.
The performance of Israel Dagg means he could very well be a tackle bag holder or replacement. It seems the fullback has his best days behind him.
8104 fans where in the stadium to watch history take place.
New Zealand won 25-16.