Battle of the Bulldogs for 5th spot
Thursday, August 18 2005 @ 06:10 am ACST
Contributed by: Matthew Guthrie
The Samoan Bulldogs overcame inaccurate kicking and a committed Great Britain Bulldogs outfit to finish the tournament on a high note and secure fifth place in their final match of the 2005 International Cup (on August 13th).
Goals were at a premium and the pride of each country was on the line in the battle for 5th and 6th placing. In a tightly contested match the Samoans kicked clear in the last to secure their victory.
Only five goals were kicked in this match with Samoa going into the last break ahead 2.7 19 to 2.3 15. The British Bulldogs controlled possession for most of the third but could not capitalize on their dominance in general play, but went into the final change with good momentum and high hopes of recording a third victory for the tournament but the Samoans had other ideas of their own to go home on a winning note.
Lead by a tireless Tootoo (2) who would have near finished with leather poisoning after the match the Samoans came out breathing fire in the last. A goal by Tamate (10) midway through the last gave the Samoans some breathing space and they were able to hold on for the remainder of the quarter.
Both sides had come through the tournament with two wins and some very competitive performances and I am sure that the after match celebrations and drinks were all the sweeter for the Samoans but both nations can be proud of the way they represented their countries. Both sides will go home confident in the knowledge that with a bit of luck and some hard work over the next few years a finals spot is a real possibility come 2008.
Samoa 3.9 (27)
Great Britain 2.3 (15)