A report by one of the assistant referees led to a disallowed try and heartbreak for Samoa A in Fiji yesterday.
The decision and a reversed penalty robbed Samoa A of a victory in the dying minutes of the game against Junior Japan.
Samoa A went down, 29-21, in a thrilling and entertaining 80 minutes game during the second round of the Pacific Challenge tournament at the A.N.Z. Stadium in Suva, Fiji.
Both teams displayed physical and entertaining rugby until the final hooter sounded.
Samoa A was leading by 14-12 going in to the break, with tries from halfback, Melani Matavao and right winger, Jonny Vaili.
Tries were converted by first five, D’angelo Leuila.
Junior Japan’s points came from number eight, Tevita Tatafu try, and left winger, Nicolas Hohua, with one successful conversion from second five, Yuto Mori.
Junior Japan came strong, starting the second spell to a one man try from their fullback, Koga Nezuka and successful conversion again by Mori.
Both teams played 14 men each way within the second half when Junior Japan center, Siosiua Fifita and Samoa A Gafa Su’a, both sin binned.
Samoa A finally responded in the 62nd minute with a second try to winger, Vaili and a successful conversion followed by Leuila to close the gap 21-22.
Junior Japan dominated possession in the last 10 minutes of the game with Samoa A not quite working their opportunities inside Junior Japan’s territory.
Junior Japan were on attack inside the last five minutes of the game inside Samoa A’s danger zone, when Samoa A picked up a loose ball from the ruck and played it from their half, resulted in a try to fullback, Ricky Ene, which was later disallowed.
From Junior Japan’s attack inside Samoa A’s territory, assistant referee reported a shoulder charge blow from Samoa A flanker, Mikaele Tapili, to a Japanese player, which later sent him off, reversed penalty and try disallowed for Samoa A.
Junior Japan resumed their attack after the disallowed try and awarded them another try from Tatafu to seal their victory over Samoa A.