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24 hours ago
NZ Maori has progressed to the Pacific Rim Grand Final after destroying a Samoan side in the final round of pool play Auckland last night.
Samoa started strong with an early try to wing Tangi Ropati which he converted himself to give them a 6-0 lead. Then it went all down hill as the Maori piled on 24 points before Jason Tavita scored Samoa?s second try.
At 26-10 at the break things looked bleak for the Samoans, and in the second half the Maori ran in 44 unanswered points to register a 70-10 thrashing, and a place in the Grand Final against the Cook Islands.
Tetira Davis had a field day again for the Maoris, picking up 38 points to add with his 28 points he scored against Niue in round two.
Things don?t get much better for Samoa, as they will now play the much fancied Tonga side in the Plate Final on Saturday. It will be Samoa?s third game in five days, and odds are they will get another large score posted against them.
The game in Samoa is in a major rebuilding faze after the death of Samoan RL boss Mark Puckey, who died in a car crash in August this year.
The Samoan team is made up of some of the best Samoan talent in the Auckland area, with up and coming players Tangi Ropati, Misi Taulapapa, Jan Tiavale, Arnold Su'a, and Sialii Tufeao all represented their country with pride.
If Samoa can keep that talent with them, plus all their Australian based players, they could become a strong team before the next World Cup in 2008.
NZ Maori 70
Nathan Hohaia, Charlie Herekotukutuku, Vern Moana-Mason, Aoterangi Herangi, Peter Prime, Herewini Rangi, Kererua Savage, Mike Whakatihi, Tetira Davis (3) : Tries Tetira Davis (13) : Goals
Tangi Ropati, Jason Tavita : Tries Tangi Ropati (1) : Goals
Halftime Score : 26 - 10 To NZ Maori
Courtesy of: http://www.rugbyleaguenz.com