Samoa vs Scotland Preview

Scotland won't be expecting to get anything from this game, especially with losing three of their players to internal disciplinaries; Brough, Walker and Brooks were all told not to travel with the team for this game. Brough is the obvious big loss to the side, he isn't just their captain, he is their playmaker, danger-man and in play kicker. Filling his boots is going to be no easy task and this now drops to Danny Addy. Addy has had a good tournament but Scotland don't look at their strongest coming into this game.

Samoa have the added motivation of this being a must win game to see them into the quarterfinals. The Samoan's are yet to pick up a win, so far they have been beaten by New Zealand and Tonga. This will ensure they go out with no complacency in their minds as Samoa know a loss to the Bravehearts, however unlikely it is, will see Scotland through to the next round and Samoa heading home. Samoa didn't play badly against Tonga, they were just outclassed in crucial areas, they held their own really well but it proved too much for them in the end.

This game will be Samoa's big opportunity to show other teams what they can offer in attack, as due to the calibre of opponents they have played in their first two games, much of Samoa's time has been spent defending. Scotland are very much in the same boat, but I feel that this is another game where their defence will see the biggest portion of the action.

Samoa: Samoa's big men are going to see the majority of the ball in this game, Scotland are not gifted with the biggest pack, so the likes of; Afoa, Paulo and Papalii are going to get plenty of hit ups, to create line breaks and provide Samoa with good field position to score points. Unfortunately for Scotland, Samoa have fire power on the bench too for when the other big men start to tire. Leeson Ah Mau and Sam Tagataese ready at a moments notice to pick up where the other forwards left off.

Jarome Luai is set to debut in the halves, the young Panther is yet to make his first grade NRL debut and has been given the nod over Roberts and Joseph Paulo to start in the six role. This will be the 20 year old's big chance to shine and could even put him in good stead for the coming season. Joseph Leilua is going to be a man to watch in this game, his pure size and power will be too much for his Scottish opponents close to the line and I'm almost certain he will bag a try in this fixture.

Scotland: Scotland are certainly going to give this game a good go and hope that they can pull off  some World Cup heroics to see them into the next round. On paper they are outmanned in all aspects for this game, their forwards are smaller, their backs are not as quick. Scotland are the very definition of the words "rank outsiders" in this game. Frankie Mariano will be expected to be the driving force in the attack for Scotland, alongside Luke Douglas who will look to make the big metres on the go forward.

Addy has been the stand out player so far in the tournament for me for the Scots, everything from how he has played to his attitude, even in the late stages of games when they are taking a battering, Scotland fans will be hoping for another big game. Scotland are not expecting a win but more hoping that they can at least keep the game competitive, a win would simply be a bonus.

Conclusion: Samoa should have this game wrapped up, as long as complacency doesn't take over. Scotland's tournament looks over but can you really blame them, their pool was a more than a challenging group to have to deal with. I really hope that Scotland can at least keep this a close game so that if they do go out they at least go out on some form of a positive note. Unfortunately though I'd have to say Samoa have this game by a minimum of 20 points.



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