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Alesana Tuilagi brace leads Samoa to victory over Scotland for the first time
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Samoa ran in three tries as they registered their first ever victory against Scotland in the opening fixture of the quadrangular series in Durban on Saturday.
Winger Alesana Tuilagi bagged a brace as the southern hemisphere side triumphed 27-17 at Kings Park to leave Scotland with plenty of work to do if they are to reach the final in South Africa.
Samoa took advantage of a slovenly start from Scotland as Alapati Leiua broke away to launch a counter attack down the right wing. When the Scottish defence eventually caught up with Leiua the winger swiftly offloaded into the hands of James So'oialon, who raced home his first international try and he subsequently added the extras from the tee.
Scrum-half Greig Laidlaw got Scotland on the scoreboard when he successfully converted a penalty after Jonny Leota caused an obstruction at the breakdown.
It was Samoa who continued to dominate territory however, with prop Logovii Mulipola combining with No 8 Taiasina Tuifua to draw closer to the Scotland line. Some slick handling from the forwards released winger Tuilagi to cross for a second Samoan try before full-back So'oialon converted with ease.
Indiscipline in the Samoan defence resulted in two more penalties which Laidlaw successfully slotted between the uprights to put Scotland within touching distance at the interval.
Laidlaw wasted no time in reducing the deficit further after the break as he dissected the posts once more to take Scotland within two points.
Five minutes later Samoan scrum-half Jeremy Sua made a fatal error when he gifted the ball to the opposition inside his own five-metre line to allow Sean Lamont in for Scotland's first try of the match.
Scotland's defensive display began to waver mid-way through the second period as Samoa were gifted a penalty within range which allowed So'oialon to level the scores at 17-17.
Scotland's backline was looking increasingly vulnerable when Tuilagi smashed his way through three tackles on his way over the line to complete a brace as Samoa seized control of the contest.
With time running out for Scotland, So'oialon added another three-pointer to take Samoa two scores clear and all but secure the victory.
Scotland will have a week to regroup before they face South Africa on Saturday with a place in the tournament final at stake, while Samoa take on Italy.
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|Saturday 1st November|
|TBC||USA vs New Zealand|
|14:30||Barbarians vs Australia|
|Saturday 8th November|
|14:00||Italy vs Samoa|
|14:30||England vs New Zealand|
|14:30||Wales vs Australia|
|16:45||France vs Fiji|
|17:30||Scotland vs Argentina|
|17:30||Ireland vs South Africa|
|Saturday 15th November|
|14:00||Italy vs Argentina|
|14:30||England vs South Africa|
|14:30||Wales vs Fiji|
|17:30||Scotland vs New Zealand|
|20:00||France vs Australia|
|Sunday 16th November|
|14:30||Ireland vs Georgia|
|Saturday 22nd November|
|14:00||Italy vs South Africa|
|14:30||Scotland vs Tonga|
|16:30||Ireland vs Australia|
|17:30||Wales vs New Zealand|
|19:00||England vs Samoa|
|20:00||France vs Argentina|
|Saturday 29th November|
|14:30||England vs Australia|
|14:30||Wales vs South Africa|
|Saturday 18th October|
|Australia 28 - 29 New Zealand|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com