Rugby World Cup 2011 Pool D: Samoa 49-12 Namibia

By Ben DirsBBC Sport at the Rotorua International Stadium
Alesana Tuilagi
Alesana Tuilagi scored three tries for Samoa

Samoa got their World Cup campaign off to a winning start with a one-sided victory over Namibia in Rotorua.

Samoa simply had too much pace and too much muscle for the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, running in six tries, with Leicester wing Alesana Tuilagi grabbing a hat-trick.

However, the biggest cheers of the day were reserved for Namibia centre Danie van Wyk and fly-half Theuns Kotze, who scored second-half tries for the African minnows.

While Namibia's second defeat in Pool D effectively eliminates them from the tournament, Samoa will go into their next game against Wales on Sunday high in confidence.

Defeat for the Welsh in Hamilton would leave their hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals hanging by a thread after Sunday's narrow loss to South Africa.

Namibia got off to the worst possible start when an attempted clearance by Kotze snagged in the wind and the ball bounced into the path of Samoa scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'i, who sprinted in and touched down in the right corner.

Fly-half Tusi Pisi kicked the extras before extending Samoa's lead with a penalty as Samoa, with a strong wind in their favour, continued to attack in waves, to the delight of a strong Samoan contingent at the Rotorua International Stadium.

It took until just after the 10-minute mark for Namibia to breach the Samoan 22 courtesy of a sniping run from scrum-half Eugene Jantjies, but after several phases, the ball was coughed up under the posts.

Tuliagi, brother of England centre Manu, made it 15-0 after 17 minutes, touching down in the left corner after a slick passing move, before Pisi kicked the conversion.

Pisi added another penalty midway through the half before the ball was shipped down the line again to Tuilagi, who blasted over for his second try.

Samoa lost Pisi (hamstring) and flanker Taiasina Tuifua (rib) to injuries just before the half-hour, a concern ahead of Sunday's clash with Wales.

"We will know more tonight," said Samoa coach Titimaea Tafua afterwards. "I do hope it is not serious."

Namibia showed they were still up for the fight when an illegal hit by Paul Williams on Kotze sparked a flare-up on half-time, after which Williams was shown a yellow card.

But Samoa's full-back returned after the break to make it 28-0 with a penalty before Tuilagi coasted over for his third try of the match and fourth in World Cup matches.

Williams scampered over and touched down under the posts before adding the conversion to make it 42-0 but Van Wyk at least gave his side something to cheer when he ran in from long range.

With 10 minutes remaining, Samoa were awarded a penalty try by referee Romain Poite.

But Namibia never gave up and after a wave of attacks in the dying minutes, Kotze, who dropped three goals in the 49-25 defeat by Fiji, scored under the posts.

Samoa: Williams, Tagicakibau, G Pisi, Mapusua, Tuilagi, T Pisi, Fotuali'i; Taulafo, Schwalger, Perenise, Leo, Thompson, Tuifua, Fa'asavalu, Stowers. Replacements: Fuimaono-Sapolu for Mapusua (49), Lavea for T Pisi (27), Poluleuligaga for Fotuali'i (49), Paulo for Schwalger (56), Tekori for Thompson (62), Treviranus for Tuifua (28). Not Used: Johnston.

Sin Bin: Williams (39).

Namibia: Botha, Dames, D van Wyk, Van Zyl, Winkler, Kotze, Jantjies, Redelinghuys, Horn, Larson, Koll, Franken, Kitshoff, Burger, van Lill, Esterhuyse. Replacements: Du Toit for Redelinghuys (58), O'Callerghan for Horn (60), Esterhuyse for Franken (50), Van Neel for Esterhuyse (58). Not Used: D de la Harpe, R de la Harpe, Losper.

Sin Bin: Kitshoff (65).

Att: 19,500

Ref: Romain Poite (France).

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