France suffer Samoa mauling
Pacific nation run in eight tries to avoid last-place finish
Last Updated: 09/11/08 3:12pm
Puletua completes the rout at CUA Stadium
Samoa avoided an embarrassing last-place finish in the World Cup after recording an emphatic 42-10 victory over France at CUA Stadium.
The Pacific Island nation ran in eight tries in an utterly one-sided affair as they ended a mixed campaign Down Under on a high note.
Samoa had their sights set on a top-four finish and looked on track after upsetting fierce rivals Tonga in their opening pool match.
But a surprise loss to Ireland derailed those plans and sent them into a play-off for last against the Tricolors.
Samoa's second win of the tournament was never in doubt from the moment Matt Utai crossed in the sixth minute.
France had no answer to the Islanders' flair and precision and conceded another try six minutes later when centre Francis Meli touched down after the ball was kept alive.
The French defence continued to capitulate as Brisbane-bound Ben Te'o swatted off five weak tacklers to plunge over 24 minutes in.
Ben Roberts landed his first conversion of the day to give Samoa a 14-0 lead before the Islanders ran in the try of the match.
A fast-flowing passing move from 60-metres out saw the ball find its way to skipper Tony Puletua before he improvised a pass back inside for George Carmont to score a superb team try.
Roberts now had his radar going and landed the conversion for a 20-0 advantage.
Minutes after saving a certain try, Samoa winger Misi Taulapapa squeezed over in the corner just before half-time as the lead increased to 24-0.
The tries kept coming in the second half, Te'o grabbing his second eight minutes in when he ran into a gaping gap close to the line.
Roberts pushed the scoreline out to 36-0 with a converted try on the hour as Samoa threatened to run riot.
Despite the lopsided scoreline, the French stuck to the task and was rewarded in the 64th minute when skipper Jerome Guisset crossed.
They were over again four minutes later through winger Sebastien Planas, however Samoa completed the scoring when Puletua crossed a minute before full time.