Australia beat Samoa 74-7

2005-06-11 13:09

Sydney - Australia ran in 12 tries to overwhelm Samoa 74-7 on Saturday in the Wallabies' opening test of the rugby season at the former Olympic stadium.

Rocky Elsom and Mark Chisholm marked their test debuts with tries, Stirling Mortlock, Wendell Sailor and Nathan Sharpe each scored twice and Matt Giteau controlled the midfield in his 57 minutes at five-eighth.

The lopsided win before 38 556 spectators follows the All Blacks' 91-0 victory on Friday over Fiji, another Pacific island nation with struggling rugby programmes.

Australian coach Eddie Jones said after the game it was vital that the International Rugby Board started helping out island teams like Samoa.

"Those three countries - Fiji, Tonga and Samoa - are of great importance to world rugby but it has to be driven by the IRB," Jones said. "The thing is you'd like Samoa to be able to compete better in test matches like this.

"To do that they have to have the resources to run better programmes in Samoa and they have to have the resources to be able to bring back players from overseas."

Samoan coach Michael Jones agreed.

"When you need help you don't go running to the neighbour down the road, you go to your dad first," Michael Jones said. "For us our parent is the IRB.

"We need help. I am sure there are things being spoken of and moves being made but I just don't want to be coming back here in two or three years if I'm still involved and be saying the same thing. I think two years ago we were saying the same thing at the World Cup."

In slippery conditions and with the Wallabies missing 10 regulars due to injuries, Australia led 28-0 at halftime and controlled play for the entire game.

Samoan centre Terry Fanolua scored a consolation try for the visitors in the 62nd minute.

Regular Australian pivot Stephen Larkham started on the bench and is being eased back into test rugby after just four matches in Super 12. He became Australia's most capped five eighth - 65 matches in the position - when he was introduced in the 57th minute.

Reserve hooker Stephen Moore and second rower Hugh McMeniman made their test debuts off the bench late in the match.


Australia 74 (Stirling Mortlock 2, Nathan Sharpe 2, Wendell Sailor 2, Rocky Elsom, Clyde Rathbone, Mark Chisholm, Chris Latham, Morgan Turinui, Mat Rogers tries; Matt Giteau 5 conversions, Mortlock 2 conversions), Samoa 7 (Terry Fanolua try; Faletoese Talapusi conversion).