Giant prop Junior Paulo has led Samoa to a 24-6 victory over Papua New Guinea in their Pacific rugby league Test in Sydney.
With the game in the balance, Paulo carried multiple defenders with him over the line to score next to the posts and seal the match. The Parramatta forward also ran for 162 metres to help his side to victory on Saturday night in front of 8408 fans at Leichhardt Oval.
Five-eighth Chanel Harris-Tavita scored a unique, entertaining international try to delight the Samoan fans. With three minutes remaining, the playmaker's attempted field goal hit the post and bounced into the in-goal, but the youngster gathered his own kick to score.
"I thought it was good. I was very proud of them because the opposition really stood up ... we muscled up all game," Samoa coach Matt Parish said after the match.
"That win was overdue. I was especially impressed with our defence."
Gun Manly forward Martin Taupau, having just switched allegiances from New Zealand to Samoa, was another standout for the team in royal blue as he ran for 171 metres and made 25 tackles.
"(Taupau) had a very good game. He was outstanding all week and he's going to make a big difference in this team, very big difference. The momentum has started and I think we could find another player or two," Parish said.
Although they started the match as rank outsiders, PNG put up an almighty fight and looked threatening in the second half.
Trailing by only six points with 30 minutes remaining, Radley Brawa had a chance to level the scores for the Kumuls, but the PNG interchange player was deemed to have dropped the ball over the line while attempting to score.
North Queensland's injury woes have gone from bad to worse with PNG hooker Kurt Baptiste suffering a likely ACL tear.
"Unfortunately, from medical advice, it's a likely ACL but we need to have proper scans in the next 24 hours," Kumuls coach Michael Marum said.
"It was unfortunate with Kurt with the injury but our forwards could have done a bit better.
"I thought the boys did well throughout the game. We got off to a slow start and the Samoans got two early tries," Marum said.
The second half was dominated by defence after the Samoans had led 12-6 at the break.
Prop Josh Aloiai was a late addition to the starting side and he made an immediate impact. The Wests Tigers' forward assisted Jarome Luai for the first try of the night after just four minutes, before scoring a four-pointer himself.
PNG winger Terry Wapi reduced his side's deficit to six points just before halftime when he found some lazy defenders and burrowed his way over the line.