Nine-year-old Dominic Ellison tells us about his trip to watch New Zealand and Samoa in the Rugby League World Cup at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington on Sunday.
Sia Soliola was captain for Samoa for the first time because Harrison Hansen was injured.
in the previous week’s warm up game, and he led the Siva Tau. I was happy to see Sia as captain because I support Saints and he is my friend, after Samoa scored some tries I ran over to Sia and hi-fived him.
After five minutes there had been some big hits from both teams, and Samoa were putting a lot of pressure on to force mistakes. There was a penalty for the Kiwis and they kicked for touch, this led to the first try scored by their number one Josh Hoffman and number seven Shaun Johnson kicked the goal.
Samoa did a really good kick into the in goal area and the Kiwi full back slipped with the ball, however New Zealand scored on that set of six through their captain Simon Mannering, Shaun Johnson kicked the goal 12-0.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Simon Mannering scored again pretty quickly and it was 22-0 after 22 minutes, Shaun Johnson kicked one and missed one.
Mose Masoe came on as a sub for Samoa and we got to see what he would be like for Saints next year and within a few minutes had hit the posts and made them wobble. His next impact on the game happened when Hoffman returned the ball, his shorts had fell down and then he got a big hit for Masoe.
Samoa kicked a 40/20 in an attempt to get back into the game, a great run by Ben Roberts earned him a try, the kicked was missed 22-4 at half time.
The second half began and a try for Manu Vatuvei but the kick was missed, followed by a try by Isaac Luke and a second for Vatuvei within eight minutes, the scored now 36-4.
There was a bit of fighting at a scrum and from the penalty and set of six Joseph Leuluai got Samoa’s second try, the kicked missed. After this Samoa got back into the game with some strong running and hard defence with further tries to Manumalealii and Matagi. There was further massive hits, followed by an Antonio Winsterstein try and the score became 36-24 which included the video ref pressing the No Try button in error.
Just when the comeback was on, Sonny Bill Williams broke through but a touch of show boating saw him slip and ground the ball on the dead ball line.
Vatuvei completed his hat-trick and finalised the scoring for the night.
It was a really good game and I headed to the tunnel to congratulate the players and again Sia stopped to say hello.