Samoa edge Northampton in World Cup warm-up

Monday, August 20, 2007

Samoa 24 Northampton 21

Samoa edged English club Northampton 24-21 in a Rugby World Cup warm-up match here on Sunday.

In front of a club record turnout for a pre-season game of 8,122, the home side scored three penalties through veteran outside-half Barry Everitt in the first-half, while back-rower Darren Fox also scored a try converted by the ex-London Irish player.

Samoa's Worcester full-back Loki Crichton hit back with a penalty and a conversion of an injury-time try from Donald Kerslake to make it 16-10 to Northampton at the break.

Northampton, relegated from the English premier division last season, scored a second try nine minutes after the restart through Will Harries, but Samoa held their nerve and scored two further tries through forwards Jerry Meafou and Lome Faatau in a six-minute blitz.

Samoa have been drawn in tough Pool A of the World Cup alongside England, South Africa, the United States and fellow Pacific Islanders Tonga.

The Samoans have another work-out against English club opposition at Sale on Friday.