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Samoa upset Italy in Apia

MATCH REPORT: Samoa recovered from a 10-point deficit to beat Italy 33-25 in a sweltering Test in Apia on Friday.

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The home side scored four tries to three in a successful start to the tenure of new coach Mahonri Schwalger and newly appointed captain Theo McFarland.

Italy were favoured to win, coming off an encouraging Six Nations campaign in which they beat Wales and Scotland.

Coach Gonzalo Quesada fielded an Italian team at close to full strength, and they led 25-15 early in the second half before falling away in hot, humid conditions over the final 30 minutes.

Samoa surged home through late tries to backs Danny Toala and Afa Moleli, along with accurate goalkicking from flyhalf D’Angelo Leuila, who landed five of his six shots at goal and tallied 13 points.

Italy led 18-12 at half-time through tries from wings Monty Ioane and Louis Lynagh in response to Samoan five-pointers to debut flank Murphy Taramai and wing Nigel Ah Wong.

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Flyhalf Paolo Garbisi scored 15 points for Italy, including an opportunistic try soon after the interval.

Italy’s remaining tour games are against Tonga in Nuku’alofa next week, followed by Japan in Tokyo.

After failing to advance through their group at last year’s World Cup, Samoa hadn’t played.

They will play Spain in Apia next week.

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The scorers

For Samoa
Tries: Taramai, Ah Wong, Toala, Moleli
Cons: Leuila 3
Pens: Leuila 3

For Italy
Tries: Lynagh, Ioane, Garbisi
Cons: Garbisi 2
Pens: Garbisi 2

Teams

Samoa: 15 Duncan Paia’aua, 14 Sebastian Visinia, 13 Alapati Leiua, 12 Danny Toala, 11 Nigel Ah Wong, 10 D’Angelo Leuila, 9 Jonathan Taumateine, 8 OJ Noa, 7 Murphy Taramai, 6 Theo McFarland, 5 Samuel Slade, 4 Ben Nee Nee, 3 Marco Fepulea’i, 2 Sama Malolo, 1 Aki Seiuli.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Tuala, 17 Tietie Tuimauga, 18 Lolani Faleiva, 19 Michael Curry, 20 Iakopo Petelo-Mapu, 21 Melani Matavao, 22 Afa Moleli, 23 Stacey Ili.

Italy: 15 Matt Gallagher, 14 Louis Lynagh, 13 Juan Ignacio Brex, 12 Tommaso Menoncello, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Paolo Garbisi, 9 Stephen Varney, 8 Ross Vintcent, 7 Michele Lamaro, 6 Alessandro Izekor, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Niccolo Cannone, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 1 Danilo Fischetti.
Replacements: 16 Loris Zarantonello, 17 Mirco Spagnolo, 18 Giosue Zilocchi, 19 Edoardo Iachizzi, 20 Manuel Zuliani, 21 Lorenzo Cannone, 22 Martin Page-Relo, 23Leonardo Marin.

Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Dan Waenga (New Zealand), Tevita Rokovereni (France)

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