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Lam scores in losing Samoa cause, Piutau’s Tonga edged out by Georgia

Jack Lam was on the score sheet, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Samoa from suffering a tense 24-22 defeat to Fiji in the opening round of the Pacific Nations Cup – despite a second-half rally from Chris Vui’s side.

Lam, scrum-half Melani Matavao and replacement Dwayne Polataivao all crossed late on in Suva, but the Samoans – also featuring Bristol Bears players Tusi Pisi, Alapati Leiua and Jordan Lay - were unable to overturn Fiji’s 24-3 half-time lead after an impressive first 40 from the defending champions.

Tonga were beaten 16-15 by Georgia in similar circumstances, as Siale Piutau’s side came up just short having trailed 16-3 at the interval.

Full-back Soso Matiashvili scored all of Georgia’s points, converting his own sixth-minute try before adding three penalties.

David Halaifonua and replacement Viliami Lolohea touched down for Tonga, but it proved in vain for Piutau’s side.