“It was scrappy”, said Betham at a media conference.
“I think both teams will have some frantic energy about them with this being the opening of the World Cup“.
“The errors made the game hard for us and we have a lot of tidying up to do before next weekend”.
Key to the Samoans chances of reaching the last eight for the third time will be them keeping their cool in the heat of battle, according to Betham.
Samoa: Tries: Nanai-Williams, Treviranus.; Pens: T. Pisi 4, Stanley.
The United States’ increased proficiency in the seven-a-side game offers them the choice of more exciting runners for the World Cup squad but their scrum is likely to feel the effect of Samoan power and their defence will need to cope with the equally strong hits of the Pacific Islanders’ backs. Samoa No. 12 Reynold Lee-Lo stood up to him but simply bounced off and had to leave the field to check for a head injury.
Pisi missed his next kick – again from about 40 meters – skewing it wide right. Samoa edged further clear after the break, Alesana Tuilagi pouncing upon another kick in behind before setting up captain Treviranus in the corner. It leaves the Eagles as fifth favourites out of five in Pool B. Pisi’s clever change of direction and grubber kick was seized on by Nanai-Williams, before Wyles finished a breakout led by MacGinty.
Scorers: Tries: T Nanai-Williams, Treviranus. Ireland-born flyhalf A.J. MacGinty converted it for 11-3.
It was Samoa’s fifth win in a row against the Americans, and their biggest winning margin.
“The tier one nations have got a wake cup call from yesterday and our surprise factor has gone”, said Betham, who claimed they had not watched the match only seen the result at the end.
Samoa was rarely under pressure, except for when MacGinty streaked through midfield, showed brilliant composure to sell a dummy, and perfectly delayed his pass to center Seamus Kelly, who then offloaded inside to Wyles.
“There’s a really good kinship there and everybody just wants to enjoy the game and get on”.
American counterpart Mike Tolkin was disappointed with the lack of discipline shown by his team, which cost them dearly in terms of points, and on missing out on a bonus point.