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Size Isn’t Everything: Rugby World Cup Day Five

24th September 2019

Rugby is a game for big hearts, and sometimes it’s also a game for small countries.



Something had to give in today’s clash between Russia and Samoa. Samoa had lost their previous seven matches against European opponents, while Russia had never won a World Cup match in five attempts. In the end it was a comfortable win for the island nation. There are 246,000 people in Samoa, and there are 77 Russian cities with populations of more than a quarter of a million. Sometimes size matters, but not always.

Rugby is far and away the most popular sport in Samoa. There are over 23,000 registered Rugby Union players on the islands, almost 10% of the total population. Since 1991, when they memorably beat Wales in a World Cup group match in Cardiff, Samoa have punched well above their weight. Before today’s match coach Steve Jackson challenged his team to create their own legacy. They’ve made a promising start.

Match Statistics

Russia: (6) 9

Pens: Kushnarev (2) Drop Goals Kushnarev

Samoa: (5) 34

Tries: Leiua (2), Amosa, Fidow (2), Lee-Lo  Cons: T Pisi (2)


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