Wests Tigers winger David Nofoaluma scored four tries to inspire Samoa to a 42-12 win over the Cook Islands in the first game of a Pacific test double-header.
The Samoans and Kukis both put in strong performances which will stand them in good stead ahead of this autumn’s World Cup in England.
It was the first of a Pacific test double-header, which sees Papua New Guinea face Fiji in the following match at Campbelltown Stadium in Sydney.
It was the perfect start for Samoa, with Taylan May and Nofoaluma going over inside the opening 10 minutes.
Samoa took a 20-0 lead at the break thanks to further tries from Izack Tago and Nofoaluma, with a couple of conversions from Anthony Milford.
The Cook Islands posted their first points of the game in the 55th minute through Davvy Moale.
But Nofoaluma got his hat-trick on the hour mark, with May getting his second just moments later.
Tony Iro’s Kukis didn’t give up though and fought back again when Steven Marsters produced a fabulous finish in the corner, in which he converted.
Four for David Nofoaluma
Samoa’s quality shone through towards the back end of the game though as Nofoaluma got his fourth.
Matt Parish’s side put the cherry on top of the cake in the closing stages when Jaxson Paulo raced over to wrap up an impressive 42-12 victory over a spirited Cook Islands side.
Samoa: Staines; May, Tago, Jaxson Paulo, Nofoaluma; Harris-Tavita, Milford; Taupau, Tevaga, Molo, Schuster, Su’a, Aloiai. Subs: Brown, Palasia, Leniu, Afoa.
Tries: May (2), Nofoaluma (4), Tago, Paulo Goals: Milford 5
Cook Islands: K Iro; S Marsters, Gelling, R Rennie, Daniela; E Marsters, Joyce; V Rennie, Arona, Willison, Piakura, Petterson-Robati, Noovao-McGreal. Subs: Teroi, Moale, Makatoa, Porter.
Tries: Moale, S Marsters Goals: S Marsters 2