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Three tries in eight minutes at the start of the next half saw Samoa earn a bonus-point win against spirited Russia and overcome a slow beginning.
Since Motu Matu’u and Rey Lee-Lo were equally sin-binned for large tackles the Pacific Islanders moved down to 13 men in the first half.
Russia led at the break thanks to two penalties from Yury Kushnarev.
However, Samoa found their fluency to run in five second-half tries and simplicity to success as the Bears ran out of steam.
Samoa narrowly top Pool A – which contains hosts Japan, in addition to Ireland and Scotland – to points gap.
Russia were in addition to the first stages at Kumagaya Stadium since Samoa were so really slow to find their toes, however, it was the latter who opened the scoring through the try of Alapati Leiua.
The Bears responded and 2 penalties from Kushnarev place them to the lead in the 25th minute.
When Lee-Lo and Matu’u were shipped into the bin by referee Romain Poite samoa obtained two yellow cards.
In both instances, the players seemed to make contact but Poite deemed he was sinking into touch and that cards were sufficient.
Samoa hit the floor using a quickfire Ed Fidow double shooting the game away from Russia along with Afaesetiti Amosa’s rating.
The second of Leiua along with lee-Lo wrapped up the scoring, and with Russia held up on the line as they pressed in vain for a consolation try.
Samoa now face a crucial link against Scotland on Monday (11:15 BST) in Kobe, whereas Russia match Ireland in the exact same city on Thursday, October 3 (11:15 BST).
Russia coach Lyn Jones:
“It’s very disappointing. The performance was not what we expected. On the other hand, the short turnaround has influenced us mentally and tactically.
“I thought we can play exactly the very same approaches as Japan, however it wasn’t going to be tonight. We needed more time to prepare.
“It’s not the bodily deterioration, it had been the mental. We just were not there tonight.”
Samoa trainer Steve Jackson:
“To lose two playersgo down to 13 men and we did not lose on the score, so I’m really pleased with this effort.
“We knew we’d come out after half-time and the boys were still fresh. I am just glad we have online.”
Russia: Artemyev (capt); Davydov, Ostroushko, Gerasimov, Golosnitskiy; Kushnarev, Dorofeev; Morozov, Selskii, Gotovtsev, Ostrikov, Fedotko, Zhivatov, Gadzhiev, Vavilin.
Replacements: Matveev Bitiev Sychev Gaisin, Sozonov.
Samoa: Nanai-Williams; Leiua, Lee-Lo, Taefu, Fidow; Pisi, Polataivao; Mulipola, Matu’u, Alaalatoa, Paulo, Le’aupepe, Vui (capt), Ioane, Amosa.
Replacements: Niuia, Alo-Emile Lay, Toleafoa, Tyrell, Matavao, Alatimu, Seuteni.
Referee: Romain Poite (Fra).
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