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TALAVALU IN INTERNATIONAL PLAY — FIRST TWO GAMES, MARCH 28 HONG KONG

First Game: Italy 31 — 12 American Samoa
American Samoa's Talavalu comes together midfield at the 2014 Hong Kong Sevens for their first ever major international IRB 7's game. Italy prevailed 31-12. [Photo: Barry Markowitz, courtesy STP/TriMarine]

Italy beat American Samoa 31-12, in Talavalu’s first historic game played at the Hong Kong Stadium tonight.  The Azzurri scored five tries while the Talavalu crossed the end zone twice. 
 
Italy led, 19-0 at halftime as the Azzurri dominated play.  Talavalu had little ball possession and played defense throughout the first seven minutes.  In the second half of their pool F game, Italy piled up points scoring two more tries in succession. 
 
A minute and half to the final whistle, Talavalu halfback, Pentateuch Vaki received a pass from Ryan Pa’aga and he aimed for the corner to score American Samoa’s first try. 
 
With 20 seconds left to fulltime, bench player, Maugalei William Ve’ave’a used his powerful body to break three tackles as he rushed for 40 meters underneath the uprights for Talavalu’s second try that Vaki converted.
 
HONG KONG 38, AMERICAN SAMOA 7 SECOND POOL F GAME
 
American Samoa went down hard in its second pool F match as Hong Kong beat Talavalu, 38-7.  Maugalei William Ve’ave’a again showed his tenacity as he scored Talavalu’s only try of the match in the second half.
 
Tournament host, Hong Kong, urged on by thousands of boisterous fans displayed some powerful running as it scored three converted tries to lead in the first half, 21-0. 
 
Hong Kong came out firing in the 2nd half and crossed the try line three times to put the match away.
 
A good break for American Samoa came at just over two minutes of play left in the game when Nikikata Lua ran for over 20 meters into enemy territory and unloaded the ball to Pentateuch Vaki.  Though he didn’t catch the pass, Vaki quickly recovered it and went down with it. 
 
The ball quickly came out and Ve’ave’a was there to collect the pass from Lua and he dashed to the try line and scored near the goal posts.
 
American Samoa will face Tunisia on Friday, local time for its third match.
 

American Samoa's Talavalu enters the world sevens rugby stage for the very first time at the 2014 Hong Kong Sevens. [Photo: Barry Markowitz, courtesy STP/TriMarine]


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