Second half comeback steers Samoa to Pacific Nations Cup triumph

Samoa have won their third Pacific Nations Cup
Samoa have won their third Pacific Nations Cup

Fiji 20-23 Samoa, Churchill Park, Lautoka

Seilala Lam scored two tries as Samoa came from being 3-17 down to win the Pacific Nations Cup following a three-point victory over Fiji in the final round at Churchill Park in Lautoka.

Samoa were the first to open their account as Rodney Iona kicked a fourth minute penalty goal before Fiji responded back in the 20th minute as Albert Tuisue went over after a quick tap. Ben Volavola kicked the conversion to make it 7-3.

Both the teams were desperate to extend the advantage and it was Fiji who struck in the half hour mark with Frank Lomani showing brilliance to dot down and Volavola landed a conversion and a penalty apiece to ensure the home side had a 17-3 lead at the end of the opening half.

Samoa were the quickest to get off the block in the second half as Fiji were kept under pressure with repeated infringements and prop Lam dominated the scrum to score and Iona kicked the extras to make it 17-10.

The gap between the two teams remained at seven points as Volavola and Iona exchanged penalties to make it 20-13. A 64th minute penalty kick from Iona brought the gap down to four points before Lam scored his second at the back of a driving maul with 11 minutes left sealed the game and the Pacific Nations Cup for the third time.

Filipo Daugunu scored two tries as Australia A posted a 39-22 victory over Tonga.