Wallabies ease past Samoa in Rugby World Cup warm-up
Sydney, AUSTRALIA — David Pocock made a successful return as the Wallabies bade farewell to Australia with a 34-15 victory over Samoa at Western Sydney Stadium on Saturday in their final match before the Rugby World Cup.
Flanker Pocock, sidelined by injury for most of the year and playing his first match since March 8, captained the home side in place of the rested Michael Hooper and managed 58 minutes before making way for fresh legs.
The twice world champions were 22-3 in front at half-time with Pocock having provided the pass for lock Adam Coleman to score the first of Australia’s six tries in the eighth minute.
Samoa hit back after the break with replacement scrum-half Dwayne Polataivao scoring two tries in eight minutes but Dane Haylett-Petty and Matt To’omua crossed in the last 10 minutes to see the hosts safely to victory.
“It was a tough one, lots of big hits. But it was good to be back out there, very enjoyable,” said Pocock. “There’s plenty to work on there, I thought some of our shape was really good but it did get a bit stop-start at times, they put us under pressure and there’s a couple of things at scrum time we’ll work on.”
Samoa briefly threatened a repeat of the upset they achieved in their last match against the Wallabies in Sydney in 2011, with their resurgence in the second half after the first had ended with an unfortunate injury.