Win over Germany in Heidelberg gives Samoa a place in Pool A at Japan 2019
Samoa qualify for 2019 Rugby World Cup
Samoa beat Germany 42-28 in Heidelberg to secure a place in Pool A at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
The second leg of this RWC 2019 play-off was far more competitive than the first in Apia, which Samoa won 66-15, but the islanders still came out on top. The 108-43 aggregate win earns Samoa a place in Pool A which features hosts Japan as well as Ireland, Russia and Scotland.
Germany’s hopes of qualifying for Japan 2019 are not extinguished yet. They will head to France in November for the four-team repechage tournament, the winner of which will secure the final spot at the global showpiece. Canada, Hong Kong and the runners-up of the Africa Gold Cup (that competition reaches its conclusion next month) will also take part.
When Ed Fidow touched down after just 28 seconds in Heidelberg, it looked as though Samoa would canter to a comfortable victory, as they had in Apia two weeks previously.
However, Germany responded with two tries of their own. A series of pick-and-gos from the forwards close to the line leading to the hosts’ opening try for Jacobus Otto before tighthead Samy Fuchsel was put into space around five metres out and touched down in the corner to put Germany in front.
Despite a try from Samoa’s livewire scrum-half Melani Matavao, Germany led at the break 15-14 thanks to a penalty from Christopher Hilsenbeck.
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The second half ebbed and flowed until the final ten minutes when Samoa pulled away. The Samoa lineout again struggled to function effectively while missing touch with penalty kicks out of hand did Germany no favours.
Matavao had put Samoa back in front with his second try in the 46th minute but Germany hit back immediately with No 8 Jarrid Els crashing over.
Germany, clearly looking to secure arguably the most significant victory in their rugby history, then turned to their kickers to increase their lead, Hilsenbeck and Marcel Coetzee – a long-range specialist – both slotting penalties.
Three tries in the final stages saw Samoa pull clear, however. Fidow crossed for his second while full-back Ah See Tuala, whose goalkicking was faultless, also scored a brace.
So Samoa have booked their place in Japan while Germany will have one last chance to join them at the repechage tournament in France.
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