Pacific Championship Week 2 Discussion

Big Pete

Big Pete

International Captain
Mar 12, 2008
New Zealand vs. Samoa
Eden Park, Saturday 21 October 2023
Kick Off: 3:00pm (AEST)


1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Ronaldo Mulitalo 3. Matthew Timoko 4. Joseph Manu 5. Jamayne Isaako 6. Dylan Brown 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. James Fisher-Harris 9. Fa'amanu Brown 10. Moses Leota 11. Isaiah Papali'i 12. Briton Nikora 13. Joseph Tapine

14. Kieran Foran 15. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 16. Griffin Neame 17. Leo Thompson

18. Naufahu Whyte 19. Wiremu Greig 20. Danny Levi 21. Keano Kini


1. Sualauvi Faalogo 2. Murray Taulagi 3. Izack Tago 4. Marion Seve 5. Brian To'o 6. Stephen Crichton 7. Daejarn Asi 8. Stefano Utoikamanu 9. Gordon Chan Kum Tong 10. Junior Paulo 11. Luciano Leilua 12. Connelly Lemuelu 13. Keenan Palasia

14. Spencer Leniu 15. Terrell May 16. Heilum Luki 17. Justin Matamua

18. Royce Hunt 19. Ronald Volkman 20. Greg Marzhew 21. Tommy Talau

Fiji vs. Cook Islands
Santos National Football Stadium, Sunday 22 October 2023
Kick Off: 4:00pm


1. Jahream Bula 2. Maika Sivo 3. Sunia Turuva 4. Waqa Blake 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Kurt Donoghoe 7. Brandon Wakeham 8. Tui Kamikamica 9. Penioni Tagituimua 11. Kitione Kautoga 12. Apisalome Saukuru 13. Taane Milne

14. Noah Nailagoliva 15. Caleb Navale 16. Gordon Whippy 17. Watasoni Waqanisaravi

20. Sirilo Lovokuro 21. Pio Seci


1. Esom Ioka 2. Malachi Morgan 3. Kayal Iro 4. Alvin Maungatti 5. Steven Marsters 6. Brad Takairangi 7. Esan Marsters 8. Davvy Moale 9. Ruatapu Ngatikaura 10. William Samuel 11. Zane Tetevano 12. Reuben Porter 13. Pride Petterson-Robati

14. Kadiyae Ioka 15. Rhys Dakin 16. Justin Makirere 17. Takai Mokohar

18. Isaiah Cooper-Tetevano 19. Lucky Pokipoki
Samoa vs. New Zealand coming up in just a couple of minutes.
Both teams just going set for set at the moment. Samoa with an early opportunity after Hughes' kick was marked in-goal but Mulitalo was able to defuse the situation with a strong take under pressure.

Isaako turns the ball over for New Zealand, Samoa with another opportunity.

Samoa struggling to make the most of it. Their key attacking play was an inside ball from Crichton to Marzhew that was picked off. The cross-field kick ended up on the ground, but Manu was able to play on through Isaako who went 20+ metres up-field. However New Zealand turn it over again.
Not surprisingly, Samoa are missing some direction with their attack and they have to settle for another hail mary cross-kick. They look their most dangerous down the left when they can bring Fa'alogo, Leilua and Taulagi into play.

Samoa are out on their feet and off a failed intercept, New Zealand make them pay. CNK takes it to the line, draws in the defence and Isaako as he did all season for the Dolphins strolls over.

New Zealand 6-0

15 gone.
New Zealand nearly go back to back, but Crichton comes up with a great try-saver and Mulitalo's arm ends up over the dead-ball line while attempting to ground the ball.

Still some concerning signs now for Samoa, they've stripped both teams, hardly made any ground on their seven tackle set and Crichton kicks out on the full.
New Zealand A def. Tonga A in the lead-up game 36-26.

Te Kura of course was on show for New Zealand.

Really hope that game wasn't binding for the NZ reps. Can live with Te Kura, but to lose both Ben and Jack Howarth would be a blow for the Maroons.
Isaako makes a big break down the right before Samoa concede another six again back through the middle.

New Zealand realised that's what worked for them, so they spread it right, before bringing it back to the middle where Tapine is allowed to get one on one, get the arm free and Hughes scores underneath the upright.

12-0 New Zealand

24 gone
Back to back tries for New Zealand now, as they strip the Samoans for numbers down the right.

Isaako bounces out of the tackle of Faalogo. Faalogo comes again and appears to hold him up before Isaako wrestles the ball down.

Not a bad effort from Sua, just didn't have the size or the experience to get Isaako there.

18-0 New Zealand.

27 gone.
Coach killer here for Samoa.

They force a turn-over after a lacksadasical effort from Mulitalo only to get pinged for a down-town.

New Zealand on the attack and Dylan Brown comes up with a dusty pass and Timoko can't reel it in.
18-0 New Zealand Half-Time.

New Zealand cross the line, but Asofa-Solomona is pinged for obstruction.

They've left a couple of tries out there and their 12/20 completions have made for another scrappy game.

Samoa are hanging in but they're simply being out-classed. Maybe there's a lack of better options out there, but I think they're relying way too much from Paulo. I've never been a huge fan of his ball-playing as his first instinct seems to be lumbering it up, throwing a sloppy pass and making it very easy for the defence to read.

Again, it's an inexperienced spine so it makes sense to turn to your senior players. However that's been an issue with Parramatta and NSW for a long time.

Not a ton of Faalogo in this game. A couple of exciting touches and looks the most likely option but they're struggling to get him good ball. A few weaknesses in defence but he's putting himself in the right spots and was able to assist Crichton with a try-saver.
Crichton with another kick out on the full.

28-0 New Zealand after 55.

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