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Three tries in eight minutes at the onset of the second half saw Samoa make a bonus-point win against spirited Russia and overcome a slow start.
As Motu Matu’u and Rey Lee-Lo were equally sin-binned for tackles on Vasily Artemyev the Pacific Islanders moved down to 13 men in the first half.
Russia led at the break thanks to two penalties.
But their fluency to run in five attempts as the Bears ran out of steam and simplicity to success was found by Samoa.
Samoa narrowly top Pool A – that contains hosts Japan, in addition to Ireland and Scotland – on points gap.
As Samoa were really slow to discover their feet russia were on top in the early phases at Kumagaya Stadium, but it was the latter who opened the scoring.
The Bears responded nicely and two penalties from Kushnarev place them into the lead in the 25th minute.
When Matu’u and Lee-Lo were shipped into the bin by referee Romain Poite samoa then received two yellow cards.
In both cases, the players appeared to make contact with Russian skipper Artemyev’s head, however, Poite deemed he was dipping into contact and cards were sufficient.
Samoa hit the ground with the rating along with a quickfire Ed Fidow double taking the match apart from Russia of Afaesetiti Amosa.
Lee-Lo and the second of Leiua wrapped up the scoring, and together with Russia since they pushed in vain for a consolation try held up online.
Samoa currently face a crucial tie against Scotland on Monday (11:15 BST) in Kobe, whereas Russia match Ireland in exactly the identical city on Thursday, October 3 (11:15 BST).
Russia coach Lyn Jones:
“It is very disappointing. The operation wasn’t exactly what we anticipated. On the other hand, the brief turnaround has affected us mentally and tactically.
“I thought we could play the very same approaches as Japan, however it was not going to be tonight. We needed time to prepare.
“It is not the bodily deterioration, it had been the psychological. We just weren’t there tonight”
Samoa trainer Steve Jackson:
“To lose two playersgo down to 13 men and we didn’t lose on the score, I’m very proud of this effort.
“We knew we would come out after half-time and the boys were still new. I am just glad we have over the line.”
Russia: Artemyev (capt); Davydov, Ostroushko, Gerasimov, Golosnitskiy; Kushnarev, Dorofeev; Morozov, Selskii, Gotovtsev, Ostrikov, Fedotko, Zhivatov, Gadzhiev, Vavilin.
Replacements: Matveev Bitiev Sychev, Perov, Gaisin, Sozonov.
Samoa: Nanai-Williams; Leiua, Lee-Lo, Taefu, Fidow; Pisi, Polataivao; Mulipola, Matu’u, Alaalatoa, Paulo, Le’aupepe, Vui (capt), Ioane, Amosa.
Replacements: Niuia, Alo-Emile Lay Tyrell, Matavao, Alatimu, Seuteni.
Referee: Romain Poite (Fra).
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