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RWC Pool A Preview – Russia vs Samoa

RWC Pool A Preview – Russia vs Samoa

Match 9 of RWC 2019 is to be the first for Samoa and the second for Russia. Following just three rest days after facing Japan the Bears are to take-on the lowest ranked opponent in their group.

Russia Head Coach Lyn Jones has named an unchanged side to take-on Samoa on Tuesday. The match is the second for the world’s largest country. In their opening match they fell to a 30-10 defeat against Japan on Friday.

Making his 111th appearance for Russia will be fly half Yury Kushnarev. Captain Vasily Artemyev as well as Vladimir Ostroushko and Andrey Garbuzov played in all prior RWC matches for Russia. Artemyev will be leading Russia for a record 32nd time.

Samoa Head Coach Steve Jackson has named a side to be captained by the versatile Chris Vui. He will lead the team  from flanker and will do so in place of regular captain Jack Lam who misses out through injury. With Vui not locking the scrum Samoa will have added force in the scrum as well as added options in the line-out.

There are four returning players from Samoa’s opening match from RWC 2015 in Brighton, England. Of the side that started that day against the USA second-rower Teofilo Paulo, fly half Tusi Pisi, inside centre Rey Lee-Lo, and fullback Tim Nanai-Williams will also face Russia in Kumagaya.

Pisi will start at the age of 37. In doing so he will overtake former captain Peter Fatialofa as Samoa’s oldest player in RWC history.

Additional history is set to be made by virtue of the game being the first of its kind. Never before have the countries met in a rugby test match. The lack of prior international competition is based on the respective tiers and locations of the respective countries.

World Rugby do not deserve praise for the scheduling of this match. Russia having to play their second match on such a short turn-around is not in the interests of a fair contest. Despite there having been personal changes Russia head into the game with tired bodies. Samoa are favorites to win by 20 points.

RR WORLD RANKINGS – During World Cup the RR Ranking Points are DOUBLED

RUS (on 64.81 points) -vs- SAM (on 69.08 points) in a RWC match

Possible Outcome Rating Point
Will RUS
overtake SAM?
If RUS win by 1-15 points 2.854 67.66 66.23 Yes
If RUS win by more than 15 4.281 69.09 64.80 Yes
If result is a draw 0.854 65.66 68.23 No
If SAM win by 1-15 points 1.146 63.66 70.23 No
If SAM win by more than 15 1.719 63.09 70.80 No


15 Vasily Artemyev (c), 14 German Davydov, 13 Vladimir Ostroushko, 12 Dmitry Gerasimov, 11 Kirill Golosnitskiy, 10 Yury Kushnarev, 9 Vasily Dorofeev, 8 Nikita Vavilin, 7 Tagir Gadzhiev, 6 Vitaly Zhivatov, 5 Bogdan Fedotko, 4 Andrey Ostrikov, 3 Kirill Gotovtsev, 2 Stanislav Selskii, 1 Valery Morozov

Replacements: 16 Evgeny Matveev, 17 Andrei Polivalov, 18 Azamat Bitiev, 19 Andrey Garbuzov, 20 Anton Sychev, 21 Dmitry Perov, 22 Ramil Gaisin, 23 Vladislav Sozonov


15 Tim Nanai-Williams, 14 Ahsee Tuala, 13 Alapati Leiua, 12 Rey Lee-Lo, 11 Ed Fidow, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Dwayne Polataivao, 8 Afaesetiti Amosa, 7 TJ Ioane, 6 Chris Vui (c), 5 Kane Le’aupepe, 4 Teofilo Paulo, 3 Michael Alaalatoa, 2 Motu Matu’u, 1 Logovii Mulipola

Replacements: 16 Ray Niuia, 17 Paul Alo-Emile, 18 Jordan Lay, 19 Senio Toleafoa, 20 Josh Tyrell, 21 Melani Matavao, 22 AJ Alatimu, 23 Henry Taefu

Date: Tuesday, September 24
Kick-Off: 19:15 local (03:15 Pacific, 06:15 Eastern, 07:15 Rio de la Plata)
Venue: Rugby Stadium, Kumagaya
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistants: Jérôme Garcès (France) & Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)
Broadcasts: ESPN 3 (Latin/South America), NBC Sports Gold (USA), TSN 1/4 (Canada)

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