Philadelphia, PA – The first round of the 2015 Pacific Nations Cup is done, with drama on and off the pitch. Ultimately, the matches produced no surprise results, though. We’ll have more analysis of the matches of Round 1 and a preview for Round 2 later in the week, but here is the broad recap of the first week’s play.
Fiji 30-22 Tonga
Tonga came out strong against Fiji in Suva, but Fiji were able to eventually get the match going their way. Each team scored 3 tries, but misses from the kicking tee left Tonga with an 8 point deficit.
Japan 20-6 Canada
Japan was able to control the match against Canada with captain Ayumu Goromaru hitting 5 penalty goals to go with a Yoshikazu Fujita try. Canada spent some time inside the Japanese 22 in the second half but weren’t able to cross.
Samoa 21-16 USA
It was a pretty grim first half for the Eagles who trailed 21-3 at halftime. Captain Alesana Tuilagi led the way for Samoa, scoring one try and setting up the second. The US fought on, and kicking from debutante AJ MacGinty and a try from Titi Lamositele made the scoreline respectable.
The official attendance (from the USA Rugby recap) for the double header was 10,017.
The tournament standings matter because the match ups for the final matches will be determined by the standings. The US was the only losing side to earn a bonus point. The sides are split into two pools with each team playing the 3 nations from the opposite pool.
If you haven’t watched the two matches played in Avaya Stadium in San Jose, you should. One of the benefits of ESPN3 is the reliable, easy to find broadcast after the match.
Looking ahead to Round 2, US and Canada both play at home. Canada faces Tonga at 10pm EST in Swangard Stadium, just outside of Vancouver. Fiji and Samoa play the match of the round at 5pm EST at Bonney Field in Sacramento before the Eagles play Japan at 8pm EST. All matches can be seen on ESPN3.
For more details on Round 1 stats, click here.
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