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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,

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