Durban - A brace of tries by winger Alesana Tuilagi helped Samoa to a 27-17 victory over Scotland in a four-nation tournament at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday. It was their islanders first ever victory over Scotland.
James So’oialo scored the other 17 points for the island nation, with the Scots only try coming from Sean Lamont -- a score that momentarily gave them the lead after Greig Laidlaw’s four earlier penalties.
South Africa and Italy are the other two teams involved in the series and clash later on at the same venue.
The Samoans and Scots did, however, provide an entertaining curtain-raiser for the small crowd that arrived early for the unique double header.
Samoa settled quickly and, after missing an early penalty, So’oialo went over for the first try eight minutes into the game, after collecting an inside pass from Alapati Leiua.
Laidlaw replied straight after the restart when Johnny Leota took out his man in the air, allowing the Scottish scrumhalf to pull three points back.
Some shoddy defending by the Scots saw them concede another try as quick hands by the Samoan defence ended with Taiasina Tuifua passing outside to Tuilagi to run in on the left corner.
Laidlaw then had two chances to put points on the board for his team, taking the second chance to make it 14-6 when the islanders were penalised for collapsing the maul.
Another So’oialo penalty miss followed just after the 20 minute mark and Scotland should have pulled back a try on the half-hour when Matt Scott’s wayward pass to the left evaded two attackers with the line gaping.
However, Laidlaw added a third penalty not long after when Filo Paulo entered a ruck from the side with the gap remaining at five heading into the interval.
The lead was cut to two points at the start of the second half when replacement Manu Leiatua failed to release the ball and Laidlaw’s popped over from over 40 metres out on the right.
Scotland took the lead for the first time in the 50th minute when Lamont crossed in the right corner after a superb scrum by the back led to an overturn of possession five metres out.
Less than three minutes later, though, So'oialo landed a straightforward penalty to draw the scores level after a mistake by Alastair Kellock.
The Samoans retook the lead after the hour when Tuilagi bulldozed his way past four defenders after collecting the ball on the 22-metre line.
So’oialo succeeded with a simple conversion and another penalty afterwards as Samoa moved clear and held on for the win.
Scorers: Scotland: Try: Sean Lamont. Penalties: Greig Laidlaw (4).
Samoa: Tries: James So’oialo, Alesana Tuilagi (2). Conversions: So'oialo (3). Penalties: So’oialo (2).