All Blacks survive giant Samoan scare

They began to take control and closed to 22-16 with 15 minutes remaining to play through a converted try from an incredible boilover, before a late Dan Carter penalty extended the All Blacks buffer. Yes it was bloody tough but test matches are meant to be.


All Blacks management are happy with the pitch at Apia Park, but asked Mr Johnson to join them ahead of the match to provide further expert advice.

“We really appreciate the support of sponsors like Air New Zealand who help boost the profile of rugby and ensure the game remains financially healthy so we can continue to invest in rugby at all levels, retain our best players and produce winning teams”.

“Apia Park hasn’t hosted a match involving the All Blacks before, and it’s very important we provide stadium management with advice on how the venue can meet the needs of high-level global rugby”, Mr Johnson says.

In what was New Zealand’s first Test on their Pacific Ocean neighbours’ home turf, the tourists could only crash over the try-line once – but relied on the trusty boot of Dan Carter (20 points) to steer them to victory.

Amid the colour and festivities were life-sized statues of All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and Samoa skipper Ofisa Treviranus.

It was to the relief of the battered and bruised All Blacks who struggled to cope with Samoa’s unforgiving defence on a rock-hard surface.

“I’m just pleased we got up on the right side of the scoreboard”.

Malielegaoi had been lobbying for the match for some time, even putting his Kiwi counterpart John Key on the spot at Samoa’s independence celebrations previous year, while a New Zealand television journalist had also campaigned for the match.

In addition to the charter flight which departs today, giving fans the chance to fly with the team and their touring party, Air New Zealand is celebrating the historic occasion with an All Blacks community day and parade in Apia on 7 July.

But All Blacks coach Steve Hansen expects Samoa to be a much more formidable team at home, which is the reason he’s brought as strong a team as possible to Apia, given recent injuries and the unavailability of 17 players who took part in last weekend’s Super Rugby final.


Stephen Betham’s side have been drawn in Pool B at the September 18-Oct 31 tournament in England with South Africa, the United States, Canada and Japan. “And when you are a talented player, like they are, we are going to have talented opposition”.

Bryan Williams and Inga Tuigamala at the funeral of Samoan and Auckland rugby legend Peter Faitalofa in Auckland in November 2013. Fats spirit will come alive in Wednesday's test match