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Māori All Blacks pull away from Manu Samoa in second half for comfortable victory

Relive 1 NEWS' live updates of the first Test between the Māori All Blacks and Manu Samoa at Sky Stadium in Wellington this evening.

Sean Wainui scores for the Māori All Blacks against Samoa in Wellington. Source: Photosport

FT: SAM 10-35 MAB

That's it! Some relentless pressure in the second half, especially at scrum time, by the Māori proved to be too much for the visitors, who showed their rustiness, having not played together in nearly two years. While the teams were fairly even through the first stages of the game, the home side pulled away, proving to be too good for their opposition. The two teams now have a week to work on their game before they meet again in Auckland.

That's all from us tonight, enjoy the rest of your evening.

80min: SAM 10-35 MAB

Samoa are giving it their all here to score the final try of the game. Drive after drive lands them just short of the line, before Alaalatoa dives over, but he loses control of the ball while doing so, and therefore it's no try.

67min: SAM 10-35 MAB

MAB TRY!! Relentless pressure at scrum time continues, and Douglas peels off the back, shows the pass and darts through a gap to score. It was inevitable really. As was Ioane to convert once more.

65min: SAM 10-28 MAB

Samoa concede penalty after penalty in the scrum, before the Māori swing it right to Lowe who races to the corner to touch down. But the TMO rules he's in touch so play is called back to a penalty advantage from the scrum.

56min: SAM 10-28 MAB

MAB TRY!! The Māori are patient in their build-up, throwing wave after wave of attacks at the Samoans. Eventually, off the back of a lineout maul, Dixon peels off the back and dives for the line. Ioane converts his first kick off the night.

46min: SAM 10-21 MAB

SAM PEN!! Samoa win a penalty right in front of the posts from around 30m out. Iona opts to kick for goal to try and reduce the deficit, and he's successful.

40min: We're back for the second half as the Māori All Blacks get us underway.

HT: SAM 7-21 MAB

The teams go to the sheds with the Māori having a solid lead to build on. Both sides have struggled at times to deal with the Wellington wind (and slashing rain), yet the goal kicking has been immense so far. Samoa have looked good at times but have played too narrow at times, leaving the Māori wingers wide open.

39min: SAM 7-21 MAB

MAB TRY!! The Māori attack from the halfway line, the backline finding space out towards the left. Wainui gets it and kicks through. Samoa recover but Nankivell immediately turns the ball over again. Trask gets it at first receiver and plays a cross-kick to Stevenson who can walk it over the line for his second try. Another conversion for Black too.

32min: SAM 7-14 MAB

MAB TRY!! The Māori are in again, a flat pass off the back of the lineout by Dixon finds Nankivell who offloads on his inside to a charging Wainui. There's no stopping him from just five metres out and the home side take the lead again. Black converts once more.

27min: SAM 7-7 MAB

The game is opening up now. This time it's the Māori who are on the charge. Stevenson gets it on the right wing and plays a kick through to chase. He and Trask nearly run it down but it just goes beyond their reach and goes dead.

24min: SAM 7-7 MAB

SAM TRY!! Samoa are back on the attack again though. An intercept attempt by Black lands in the hands of Fomai who kicks through behind the defence and there's absolutely noone there! It's all too easy as Fomai regathers and dives over the line! Iona converts brilliantly and the scores are level!

21min: SAM 0-7 MAB

Trask drops a high ball and Samoa have a scrum around 30m out. Polatataivao breaks through a gap and offloads for a try! But it's ruled out after the TMO finds Taefu took out a Māori player out off the ball.

17min: SAM 0-7 MAB

Samoa defend again on their own line and win a penalty. Their defence under pressure has been superb so far in the opening minutes.

13min: SAM 0-7 MAB

The Māori All Blacks are on the attack again and look threatening, but Samoa manage to turn the ball over 5m out from their own line. They clear into touch and Dixin is unable to throw straight in the blustering Wellington winds.

9min: SAM 0-7 MAB

MAB TRY!! The home side get a penalty on halfway for obstruction. Black kicks it deep into the Samoa 22m. Off the lineout, the ball is moved wide to Trask, who plays a well-weighted grubber kick through the line towards the right corner, and Stevenson runs onto it perfectly to touch down for the first try of the evening! Black converts.

4min: SAM 0-0 MAB

The Māori All Blacks have possession in midfield and Hall plays a flat box kick over the top of the Samoan defence. It bounces its way down into the left corner and Harmon is oh so close to beating Taefu to touching the ball over the line. Not to be, and Harmon looks to have hurt himself a bit in the process.

KICKOFF: Manu Samoa kick off and we're underway!

PREVIEW:

It will be the first time the sides have met since 2008, with matches in Wellington and an exciting double header alongside the All Blacks and Tonga at Mt Smart in Auckland.

Unfortunately, there will be no fans able to attend the game, due to Wellington entering Level 2 earlier this week.

Highlanders hooker Ash Dixon has once again been named kāpene (captain), having led the side in their past five campaigns, including last year’s 28-21 victory over Moana Pasifika in Hamilton.

"We only have a short build up, and we are expecting a fierce challenge from Samoa as they lead into their World Cup qualifying match. We know that will add an extra edge to the match and that is something we are looking forward to," coach Clayton McMillan said.

Highlanders lock Josh Dickson and Tasman loose forward Jacob Norris will both make their debuts off the bench for the New Zealand representative side.

Samoa have an inexperienced squad, having been unable to select many overseas-based players. Five New Zealand club players and four Samoa-based players have been named in the squad, and the coaching staff are hoping to use this series as a chance to build the country's player pool.

Speaking of coaches, Samoa have assembled a star-studded lineup as they look towards the 2023 World Cup. 

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They may be missing some key players, but Samoa will have a star-studded cast calling the shots. Source: 1 NEWS

TEAMS:

Māori All Blacks: 15 Kaleb Trask, 14 Shaun Stevenson, 13 Billy Proctor, 12 Alex Nankivell, 11 Sean Wainui, 10 Otere Black, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Whetukamokamo Douglas, 7 Billy Harmon, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Isaia Walker-Leawere, 4 Manaaki Selby-Rickit, 3 Josh Hohneck, 2 Ash Dixon (captain), 1 Pouri Rakete-Stones.

Reserves: 16 Kurt Eklund, 17 Tamaiti Williams, 18 Marcel Renata, 19 Josh Dickson, 20 Jacob Norris, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Josh Ioane, 23 Jonah Lowe.

Manu Samoa: 15 Tomasi Alosio, 14 Johnny Vaili, 13 Losi Filipo, 12 Henry Taefu, 11 Neria Fomai, 10 Rodney Iona, 9 Dwayne Polatataivao, 8 Olajuwon Noa, 7 Jack Lam (Captain), 6 Henry Time-Stower, 5 Samuel Slade, 4 Benjamin Nee-Nee, 3 Kalolo Tuiloma, 2 Ray Niuia, 1 Albert Anae.

Reserves: 16 JP Sauni, 17 Jonah Aoina, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Teofilo Paulo, 20 Theo McFarland, 21 Auvasa Falealii, 22 Stacey Ili, 23 Elisapeta Alofipi