Samoa ran in four tries as they continued their preparations for the World Cup with a 34-9 bonus-point win over Tonga in the final round of the Pacific Nations Cup in Apia on Saturday.
Hooker Sama Malolo scored the opening try from close range in a tight first half in the Samoan capital but three more after the break took the game away from the Tongans.
Lock Miracle Fai’ilagi went over off the back of a rolling maul, centre Duncan Paia’aua grabbed the second and replacement scrumhalf Melani Matavao skipped across the line for the third after a quickly taken penalty in the 63rd minute.
D’Angelo Leuila, who took over as Samoa flyhalf from former Wallabies playmaker Christian Leali’ifano, contributed 14 points from the kicking tee.
“It was a real arm-wrestle in that first half,” said Samoa skipper Michael Ala’alatoa.
“We knew the Tongans were going to bring a physical game, but we were able to withstand that pressure in the first half and score some points and build some cohesion in the second.”
Tonga, who struggled to get their potent backline moving, had to settle for three penalties.
The victory was Samoa’s second in the Pacific Nations Cup after their 24-22 win over Japan in Sapporo last month.
Samoa will play England, Japan, Argentina and Chile in Pool D at the World Cup, while Tonga face world champions South Africa, Ireland, Scotland and Romania in Pool B.
The World Cup starts in Paris on 08 September.