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Carter comes through for All Blacks against Samoa

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Dan Carter’s trusty boot helped New Zealand’s All Blacks to a 16-25 victory over Samoa in a pre-Rugby Championship historic one off test in Apia on Wednesday.

The match was the All Blacks first of the year and they looked rusty but survived a scare despite being battered by bone-crunching tackles.

The steady boot of Dan Carter saved New Zealand as the first match between the rugby-obsessed nations in Samoa produced the closest result of all their six meetings.

The Test was the first of a five-match build-up by the All Blacks before they name a 31-man squad for their World Cup defence starting in England in September.

Close-marking by the powerful Samoans and multiple handling errors by both sides meant the clash never reached the free-flowing heights expected.

The All Blacks were held to 3-12 in the first-half with all the points coming from penalties.

The only tries in the match, scored by All Blacks debutant George Moala and rugged Samoan flanker Alafoti Faosiliva, both came in the second half.

Passions were ignited before kick-off with the All Blacks laying down the challenge with their traditional haka, or native war dance, and Samoa responding with their fearsome siva tau.

But after kick-off the fever rapidly ebbed. New Zealand’s set piece appeared to click effortlessly into place with a scrum too powerful for Samoa and several stolen lineouts.

But attempts to run Samoa off the rock-hard ground in the 30 Celsius heat sank beneath a constant wave of close-marking Samoans.

Attempts to change tack with forward drives and a Carter cross-kick to wing Moala failed to breach the Samoans defence

But as Johnny Leota and Alesana Tuilagi led a hard-charging Samoan defence the penalties flowed when the off-side line was breached.

Carter was able to land four penalties while Tusi Pisi replied with one for Samoa in the only scoring before half-time.

The Carter-Moala routine eventually paid off early in the second spell when the right wing scooped up a cross-kick and ran 30 metres to the line.

Faosiliva’s try, 15 minutes from time, was the result of two powerful runs in one move through the flagging All Blacks defence by the Bath loose forward.

Tim Nanai Williams’s conversion pulled Samoa within six points of the All Blacks and in sight of a shock result before Carter kicked his sixth penalty late in the game to put the outcome beyond doubt.

Final Score Samoa 16 (2) New Zealand 25 (12)

Scorers

Samoa
Tries – Alafoti Faosiliva
Pen – Tusi Pisi (3)
Con – Tim Nanai-Williams
Drop –

New Zealand
Tries – George Moala
Pen – Dan Carter (6)
Con – Dan Carter
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee: Jaco Peyper (RSA)

Teams

Samoa

Tim Nanai Williams; Alofa Alofa, Paul Perez, Johnny Leota, Alesana Tuilagi; Tusi Pisi, Kahn Fotuali’i; Ofisa Treviranus (capt), Jack Lam, Alafoti Faosiliva; Kane Thompson, Teofilo Paulo; Census Johnston, Wayne Ole Avei, Sakaria Taulafo

Replacements: Ma’atulimanu Leiataua, Viliamu Afatia, Anthony Perenise, Iosefa Tekori, Maurie Fa’asavalu, Pele Cowley, Faialaga Afamasaga, Ken Pisi

New Zealand

Israel Dagg; George Moala, Sonny Bill Williams, Ryan Crotty, Charles Piutau; Daniel Carter, Andy Ellis; Kieran Read, Richie McCaw, Jerome Kaino; Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano; Owen Franks, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock

Replacements: Hikawera Elliot, Wyatt Crockett, Nepo Laulala, Brodie Retallick, Matt Todd, Brad Weber, Colin Slade, Charlie Ngatai

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