If the war dances were anything to go by this Pacific Test between Tonga and Samoa was always going to be one to remember.
The game got off to a flying start with both teams putting on some big hits and dazzling the vocal crowd with Pacific flair.
Tonga were denied a try in the 5th minute due to a double movement.
Five minutes later Samoa crossed over but the video ref ruled obstruction and the try was also disallowed.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 24th minute when Josh McGuire went over for Samoa. Tim Simona converted to put Samoa ahead 6 – 0
Shortly after Tonga hit back with Jorge Taufua scoring out wide in the 28th minute. With the conversion missed the score remained Samoa 6 – Tonga 4.
Just before half time in the 37th minute Daniel Vidot scored in the left corner to put Samoa further in front 10 – 4.
In the 2nd half the entertaining rugby league continued and it wasn’t until the 47th minute that Jorge Taufua scored for Tonga in the left corner from a well-placed kick that was batted back into his arms.
Four minutes later Tonga crossed again down the right hand side via Sika Manu to snatch the lead from Samoa. Solomone Kata converted to put Tonga ahead 10 – 14.
Samoa hit back in the 56th minute with Frank Pritchard crossing over just to the left of the posts. Tim Simona had a chance to put Samoa back in the lead but the conversion went wide leaving the scores all locked at 14 all.
In the 63rd minute Samoa gave a silly penalty away right in front of the uprights for holding down. Solomone Kata converted the penalty goal to put Tonga in front 14 – 16.
In the 69th minute Samoa hit back when Dominique Peyroux opened up the Tongan defence to cross left of the posts and regained the lead 18 – 16.
In the 76th minute in what will go down as one of the best try savers in International Rugby League history Sam Kasiano and Frank Pritchard put their bodies on the line to torpedo Mahe Fonua into touch and save a certain try.
Tonga continued to throw everything they had at the Samoan defence. But the clock got the better of them and Samoa were able to hold on to win a classic Pacific test 18 – 16
Samoa 18 – Tonga 16
1 Tuimoala Lolohea (NZ Warriors)
2 Jorge Taufua (Manly Sea Eagles)
3 Konrad Hurrell (NZ Warriors)
4 Solomone Kata (NZ Warriors)
5 Mahe Fonua (Melbourne Storm)
6 Samisoni Langi (Sydney Roosters)
7 Joel Luani (West Tigers)
8 Richard Fa’aoso (Parramatta Eels)
9 Pat Politoni (Cronulla Sharks)
10 Peni Terepo (Parramatta Eels)
11 Sika Manu (Captain, Penrith Panthers)
12 Manu Ma’u (Parramatta Eels)
13 Siosiua Taukeiaho (Sydney Roosters)
14 Sosaia Feki (Cronulla Sharks)
15 Ben Murdoch-Masila (Penrith Panthers)
16 Felise Kaufusi (Melbourne Storm)
17 Albert Vete (NZ Warriors)
Coach: Kristian Woolf
1. Tautau Moga
2. Pat Mata’utia
3. Joseph Leilua
4. Ricky Leutele
5. Daniel Vidot
6. Carlos Tuimavave
7. Tim Simona
8. Sam Kasiano
9. Josh McGuire
10. Sauaso Sue
11. Leeson Ah Mau
12. Frank Pritchard
13. Isaac Liu
15. Dunamis Lui
16. Sam Lisone
17. Dominique Peyroux
18. Michael Sio
Coach: Matt Parish