It didn't take very long for the Samoan side to take control of the match against a French side down on injuries, and seemingly down on desire. Seven minutes into the match, and Utai scored very easily for Samoa. And from then until the halftime break, with four more Samoan tries being scored, things seemed more like a training run than a World Cup match. 30-0 up at the break.
The French coach John Monie told his desolate players at the break just to go out and have fun. His words must've sunk in as a more committed French side emerged from the dressing room.
Although Samoa scored the first two tries after the halftime rest, the French certainly played with a lot more spark as Samoa eased off the pedal just a touch. Two tries to the European visitors lifting their spirits a little in their final match of the tournament in which they finished in last place.
The Samoans finished the match as they started, with a try, and to impressive captain Tony Puletua. They now leave the tournament with a fine victory and the promise of so much more.
Samoa 42 def France 10 World Cup Week 3 - Sunday November 9th, 2008 5:30pm Venue: CUA Stadium, Penrith Referee: Thierry Albert Video referee: Steve Clark Halftime: Samoa 24 France 0 Samoa 42 Tries: Ben Te'o (2), Matt Utai, Francis Meli, George Carmont, Misi Taulapapa, Ben Roberts, Tony Puletua Goals: Ben Roberts (3/6), Joseph Paulo (2/2) France 10 Tries: Jerome Guisset, Sebastien Planas Goals: Thomas Bosc (1/2) LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Tony Puletua (Samoa) 2 Points: Alby Talipeau (Samoa) 1 Point: Kylie Leulua'i (Samoa) LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Warm conditions in West Sydney this afternoon as the national anthems ring throughout CUA Stadium. Passionate haka by the Samoans, led by Tony Puletua.