THE island nation of Samoa secured a convincing 34 – 9 victory against Russia in their opening match of the 2019 Rugby World Cup
Three tries in eight minutes at the start of the second half saw Samoa overcome a slow start and earn a bonus-point against a spirited Russian team.
The Pacific Islanders went down to 13 men in the first half as Rey Lee-Lo and Motu Matu’u were both sin-binned for high tackles on Vasily Artemyev.
Russia led 6 – 5 at the break thanks to two penalties from Yury Kushnarev. The Samoans only managed an unconverted try during the first half.
But the islanders found their fluency to run in five second-half tries and ease to victory as the Bears ran out of steam.
The victory means that the Samoans are sitting at the top of Pool A on points difference, which is the same group as hosts Japan and Ireland and Scotland.