Australia vs Samoa Preview

Samoa's road to the quarterfinals has been tough to say the least, they now hold the record as the first team to ever make it out of the group stages without winning a single game. This feat is as impressive as it is damming, considering they now face Australia.

The Australian's have been in fine form, they were efficient against England, destructive against France and consistent against Lebanon. So far in the tournament Australia have wracked up a total of 104 points in their 3 games, conceding just 10.

Samoa had a much tougher group than Australia meaning that their stats are not quite as impressive as their opponents, with 40 points scored and 84 points conceded in their pool games.

Australia: The Aussies are taking no chances, naming a very strong side to face the Samoans, regardless of how they got here Samoa are a quarterfinal side which means they could pose a threat. Slater returns to fullback, Gagai moves back to the wing, Morgan returns to the six jersey,  Chambers and Dugan move back to the centres.

Australia have packed the bench with forwards, this gives some indication of how this game is going to go, a lot of the middle traffic is sure to be expected. The advantage of having a player like Wade Graham on the bench is he can, if needed, slot into the halves, this gives Australia the advantage of not having to sacrifice a place on the bench for another ball player like most sides do.

Samoa: The Samoans are going to have to bring their best Rugby if they are going to keep this match up competitive. Samoa have made sure they have selected their strongest possible team to take on the Aussies, their starting pack will consist of; Junior Paulo, Ese'Ese, Papalii, Pritchard and Ah Mau, there is some real mass and talent amongst those names.

Samoa are going to do whatever they can to disrupt the flow of this, essentially what they are looking to do is take the efficiency out of Australia's game by dragging them into an arm wrestle in the middle of the park. I expect to see lots of fast rushing out of the line as players look to cut off second phase receiver's and stamp out any of those ruthless set line moves.

Conclusion: I'm afraid I'm going to have to count Samoa out early for this game, they have not played anywhere near their best in this tournament. Australia will play with their usual dynamic play style which will prove to be too much for the Samoa outfit. Australia have this game by a minimum of 30.



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