Samoa wing Alatasi Tupou raced the length of the field in the dying moments to seal a morale-boosting win for the Pacific islanders in their match against Scotland at the Racecourse Ground.
The Samoans, making a dynamic start to the Pool B game, looked good for an early try but had to be content with a seventh minute drop goal from Tupou. Scotland had a chance to reply but centre Stephen McColl was off target with his long-range attempt.
Then after Tupou had missed at goal, Scotland were handed a second opportunity to register first points following the sin-binning of Samoa number 8 Misioka Timoteo. This time McColl made no mistake to level the scores.
The kicking duel continued, with fly half Ioane Sefo kicking a penalty to give Samoa a 6-3 advantage.
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With the game crying out for a try Scotland duly obliged. Number 8 Craig Simmonds stole possession at a Samoa lineout and when the ball was shipped to fly half Ruaridh Jackson, the Scotland skipper chased his own neat grubber kick for a try under the posts leaving McColl with an easy conversion.
Again Samoa answered with a penalty, a second success for Sefo to narrow Scotland’s lead to just one point at half time.
Scotland appeared to have the better of matters at the beginning of the second half until a sublime piece of work by Samoa centre Alvin Smith and support from lock Maselino Paulino produced a try for replacement Sanele Vavae Tuilagi.
Sefo missed the conversion but atoned immediately with a successful penalty to put Samoa ahead 17-10.
Samoa then extended their lead with a brilliant solo try by flanker Afe Aiono, the skipper taking a tap free kick, before gathering his kick ahead to touch down under the posts, leaving Sefo with the easiest of conversion kicks.
Scotland hit back with an equally good try from a midfield surge by McColl and fine finishing from right wing Lee Jones, McColl converting from wide out.
But any hopes Scotland had of closing the gap were dashed when Tupou intercepted in his own 22 metre area before racing the length of the field for the final points of the game.
Samoa team manager Sami Leota: “A good effort from the boys. We coped well with Scotland’s scrum and managed to hold our own. What made the difference was out running backline.”
Samoa captain Afa Aiono: “This was a historic day for Samoa – our first win over a European side. So it’s very exciting for the boys.”
Scotland captain Ruaridh Jackson: “We needed to win this game. We have to keep our heads up as we approach our game against South Africa.”