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International Round-Up: Lee-Lo's Samoa kick-start with win

International | 30th July 2019

Wales will kick off their Rugby World Cup preparations in two weeks time, as they travel to Twickenham to take on Eddie Jones' England, but there was plenty of Cardiff Blues interest last weekend as the Pacific Nations Cup kicked off.

Samoa 27 Tonga 15

Rey Lee-Lo was named in midfield for Samoa's opening clash of the Pacific Nations Cup, as they welcomed Tonga to atrocious conditions in Apia.

The Cardiff Blues centre lined up alongside former regional team-mate, Filo Paulo, who featured in the second row.

The visitors went into the interval with a 10-3 lead, thanks to tries from Newcastle Falcons wing, Cooper Vuna, and Racing 92 prop, Ben Tameifuna.

Samoa struck back after a fine break from Afaesetiti Amosa. The number eight had support either side from Lee-Lo and his midfield partner, Alapati Leiua, with the latter receiving the pass and beating the cover of Tonga's final defender to slide in at the corner.

While the visitors did reply through hooker Sefo Sakalia, ill-discipline saw two Tongans sent to the sin bin.

The hosts took full advantage as Amosa crossed from the base of a rampaging scrum to take the lead, with wing Belgium Tuatagaloa sealing the victory in the final minute.

USA 47 Canada 19

Cardiff Blues academy manager, Gruff Rees, is part of Canada's management team for the upcoming World Cup campaign, but they suffered a heavy defeat to arch rivals, USA, in Glendale, Colorado, on Saturday.

Former Cardiff Arms Park favourite, Blaine Scully, captained the hosts and registered on the scoresheet in the first half, after taking advantage of a fortuitous bounce from AJ MacGinty's cross-field kick. The wing had plenty to do, after the ball deflected off the corner flag, but made no mistakes to touch down.

Another former Cardiff Blue, Cam Dolan, also featured for the Eagles, while former Ospreys back row, Tyler Ardron, who now plies his trade with Chiefs, dotted down for the Canadians.

Both sides travel to Suva this weekend, with Canada taking on Japan, who secured an impressive 34-21 win over Fiji in the opening round, and USA taking on Samoa.