Disappointing weekend for Cardiff Blues’ internationals

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There was disappointment for both Manu Samoa and the USA Eagles over the weekend as they slipped to defeats in their final Pacific Nations Cup matches.

Rey Lee-Lo started at centre and played the full 80 minutes but could not stop his Samoan side going down 10-3 at the hands of hosts Fiji in Suva, although a win and two losing bonus points from their three games saw them finish a very credible fourth in the final table.

Former Cardiff Blues players Filo Paulo and Pele Cowley also featured for Samoa, while prop Campese Ma’afu started for Fiji in the game.

Meanwhile Blaine Scully’s American side also suffered a similar fate as they fell to a 20-34 loss against Japan, with the hosts of the upcoming World Cup claiming the tournament win, while USA slid to third behind Fiji.

Cam Dolan also started and played the full 80 minutes alongside captain Scully in the game.

In the Northern Hemisphere there was a start to pre-World Cup games as Wales travelled down the M4 to take on England at Twickenham, the first in a double header.

Rey Lee-Lo Connacht
Rey Lee-Lo’s Samoa are in better form now than they have been for two years

Newly signed winger Josh Adams started the game, playing 80 minutes out wide, while Dillon Lewis came off the bench, winning a crucial turnover but struggling as part of an under pressure replacement front row late in the game.

Unfortunately the team could not deal with the physicality of England on a general level, and a 33-19 final scoreline cost Warren Gatland’s men their 14-match winning streak and a shot at being named number one in the world rankings.

They will also be counting the cost of injuries picked up with Adam Beard and Justin Tipuric seemingly suffering from knocks, and Gareth Anscombe being helped from the field after a knee injury. Tomos Williams had pulled out of the fixture pre-game due to a shoulder problem.

Finally, Wales U18 got their annual trip to South Africa for the International Series underway on Friday lunchtime, as they faced South Africa Schools U18 in Stellenbosch.

Cardiff Blues youngsters Alex Mann, Ethan Lloyd and Mason Grady all started, with the latter coming very close to a try, while Ben Burnell came off the bench, but none could stop the Welshmen sliding to a 23-13 defeat.

Next up this week sees Wales U18 take on South Africa Schools A on Tuesday, before playing France U18 on Saturday, while Wales welcome England to the Principality Stadium, also on Saturday.

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