Live updates: Manu Samoa v New Zealand Heartland XV

LIVE COMMENTARY (Be sure to refresh for latest update)

NZ Heartland XV - 19     Samoa - 36

FULLTIME - Check out the full wrap and highlights here.

80 mins - TRY SAMOA - Great vision from Pisi who kicks for his wing Tuala with acres of space to work with, reels it in and runs it in to end an entertaining match.

77 mins - Both teams chancing their arm, end-to-end action and we finish with an NZ scrum and some rare attacking ball.

75 mins - Ranga with a critical lineout steal for NZ, they clear to the 22m.

73 mins - Samoa break down the left edge, draw and pass needed but Lash gets a hand to it. Almost tips it to himself but can't quite reel it in and the ref reaches for the pocket and shows him a yellow card.

71 mins - NZ knock on from the attacking lineout. Samoa scrum at their own 22m.

70 mins - Lash chips over the top and Leatigaga stroms on to the ball at pace, pulled down just 10m from the Samoa line. Samoa win the turnover at the ruck and work their way out of trouble.

69 mins - NZ defense does the job, turnover penalty won and they'll relieve the pressure. It's been all Samoa in the past 20 mins.

66 mins - Tuala knocks on the long ball with the line wide open. Back for the penalty advantage we go, 5m lineout.

65 mins - Samoa asserting their dominance now, Nanai-Williams launches another raid, links with Fidow. Play stops for injury and they set the scrum. 

64 mins - Eight phases deep, Pisi drops the grubber in from 10m out but it's far too strong. NZ scrum.

63 mins - Game really starting to open up now. Tuala beats two, offloads, Samoa deep in NZ half...

60 mins - Malolua doubles around and finds some space from the lineout, just scragged in the tackle and the ball is spilled. NZ scrum near their own line.

58 mins - Fidow with a strong kick return, taken high in the tackle near the 50m. Samoa will kick to touch, lineout at the NZ 22m.

55 mins - Samoa inside the NZ 22m, Lee-Lo almost through again. NZ quick to the breakdown and they win the turnover penalty. We move to a lineout at halfway.

53 mins - TRY SAMOA - Too much power from the Samoan pack and they rumble over the chalk from close range, Alaalatoa nabs his second try on debut. Conversion is good.

51 mins - We're still at the same scrum. Yes. Out comes the yellow card for repeated infringements, NZ down to 14.

49 mins - Penalty blown up. Samoa reset the scrum 5m out.

47 mins - Fidow puts the foot down, scampers past defenders down the touchline and grubbers through, only a fantastic covering defensive effort from NZ's Lafituanai prevents him regathering to score. Samoa will feed the 5m scrum.

45 mins - TRY NZ - Willie Paiaua creates something out of nothing, skips out of two tackles and balances down the left touch line to leap and dot down in the corner. Conversion hits the post.

43 mins - TRY SAMOA - Textbook rolling maul from the close range line-out and the big Samoan pack rumbles over the line, Teofilo Paulo at the back to claim the try.

41 mins - Leaupepe receives from the kick-off and Samoa are immediately into NZ territory. Penalty won and they'll throw a lineout 10m out.

Second half underway...


40 mins - They'll play the Samoa scrum, kkock-on ends the half.

39 mins - Samoa roll back into the NZ half on the back of more damaging Lee-Lo runs. Play breaks down 30m out from the line, NZ scrum.

37 mins - TRY NZ - Too many numbers and Lash finds Holani on a lovely inside line, strolls in under the crossbar.

36 mins - NZ 5m lineout and they roll the maul...

34 mins - Paiaaua busts the line from the close range scrum, can't beat the fullback and throws a pass 'n' hope as he goes to ground, Samoa clear the danger.

32 mins - Leiua with another huge break, gutsy last gasp tackle from Lafituanai saves the day and NZ clear.

30 mins - Crazy passage of play as Samoan No. 8 Solia peels off 50m on the break, can't quite find his support, NZ defence breaks it up and they clear to the 50m lineout.

26 mins - TRY SAMOA - Started by a huge tighthead win at the scrum, Leiua
storms through a big hole, finds Nanai-Williams who throws another gem in the tackle to Tuala who grabs his second try of the day.

25 mins - Samoa win a penalty, they'll throw the lineout at halfway. Not straight, NZ will feed the scrum. 

24 mins - NZ finally with some possession, working their way over halfway...

21 mins - Seutini makes a scything run, beats two and is taken down 30m from the NZ line. Knock-on from the ruck and NZ are awarded a scrum near their own 10m.

18 mins - TRY SAMOA - Nanai-Williams drifts right in the midfield and throws a gorgeous pinpoint skip pass to Tuala who waltzes over in the corner.

16 mins - Penalty Samoa 10m out from the NZ line. They opt for the scrum. 

14 mins - TRY NZ - Craig Clare makes the initial break from 25m out, finding room to put halfback William Wright in under the crossbar. 

13 mins - NZ look to run but the Samoan defence is up to the task. 

12 mins - Great work at the breakdown from NZ and they win the scrum turnover.

11 mins - Samoa find touch, NZ throw the lineout poorly and Samoa are right back on attack at the NZ 22m. 

9 mins - Lee-lo with another strong carry, Samoa happy to run the ball out of danger.

7 mins - Mistake from the restart and NZ will have their first ball of the game via a scrum in the shadows of the Samoa posts. Inside ball from Lash off the back is off the mark and it'll be a knock on, Samoa scrum.

5 mins - TRY SAMOA - The weight of possession eventually takes its toll and it's debutant Michael Alaalatoa who rummages over the line to score the game's first try. Conversion is wide.

4 mins - Lee-Lo steps inside and is dragged down just short...

2 mins - Samoa looking dangerous as they recycle possession quickly inside the NZ 22m. Penalty advantage blown up, Seutini truns down a handy shot at goal for a 5m lineout.

1 min - NZ receive the kickoff, Lash clears but Nanai-Williams is there to return to the NZ 10m.

We're underway...

1:58pm - Heartland throw down Ka mate, and the Samoans respond with their iconic Siva Tau, much to the delight of the crowd scattered through Eden Park. 

1:57pm - Anthems underway. I think the Heartland side are going to do a Dave Dobbyn number.

1:55pm - The sun is beaming at The Garden of Eden as the two sides take to the pitch. 

Kia ora and welcome to live updates as the NZ Heartland XV take on Samoa in Auckland.

The match is the first of a double-header at Eden Park - dubbed the Pasifika Challenge II -  that also includes Tonga against Fiji.

We bring you live streaming written commentary, video highlights (be sure to refresh your browser) and all the play-by-play action. 



Betting odds

Samoa - $1.03 NZ Heartland XV - $9.00



NZ Heartland XV: 15-Craig Clare, 14-Harry Lafituanai, 13-Peni Nabainvalu, 12-Sione Holani, 11-Willie Paiaaua,  10-James Lash, 9-William Wright, 8-Jeff Lepa, 7-Seta Koritamana, 6-Brett Ranga (capt), 5-Campbell Hart, 4-Josh Clark, 3-Scott Cameron, 2-Troy Tauwhare, 1-Carl Carmichael. 

Reserves: Glen McIntrye, Ralph Darling, Meli Kolinisau, James Goodger, Aaron Lahmert, Lindsay Horrocks, Timoci Serawalu,  Kalavini Leatigaga.

Samoa: 15-Tim Nanai-Williams, 14-Ahsee Tuala, 13-Alapati Leiua, 12-Reynold Lee-Lo, 11-Ed Fidow, 10-Ulupano Seutini, 9-Melani Matavao, 8-Tofatu Solia, 7-Jack Lam (capt), 6-Chris Vui, 5-Kane Leaupepe, 4-Teofilo Paulo, 3-Michael Alaalatoa, 2-Ray Niuia, 1-Jordan Lay.  

Reserves: Seilala Lam, Paul Alo-Emile, James Lay, Vaito'Asa Senio Toleafoto, Josh Tyrell, Scott Malolua, Tusi Pisi, Henry Taefu.


Pre-match banter:

Opinion: All Blacks lack brute force for Rigby World Cup

By John Day

There's a lot to like about the All Blacks' 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup.

The group going to Japan next month is full of gamebreakers like Beauden Barrett, Dane Coles, Ardie Savea and Richie Mo'unga, just to name a few.

They're stacked with talent, as Sevu Reece, Luke Jacobson, Atu Moli and George Bridge begin what are likely to be long All Blacks careers.

While they're less experienced than in 2015, the team still has plenty of old heads, with Kieran Read, Sonny Bill Williams, Sam Whitelock and Ben Smith crucial to succeeding under pressure.

But there's one area where teams like England, Ireland and the Springboks will think they don’t just match the All Blacks, but beat them - bruteforce.

Coach Steve Hansen's team will head into their opening pool game against South Africa in Yokohama on September 21 without Owen Franks, Liam Squire and Brodie Retallick.

While the All Blacks won't have their three most brutal players, the Boks are stacked with big men who'll be out to hurt their opponents - just like RG Snyman did to Retallick at a ruck in Wellington, dislocating the big lock's shoulder.

And as we saw on that night in the capital, which ended in a draw, even when opposition teams don't have the same attacking flair or mobility as the All Blacks, they can still find a way to get under the world champions' skin, with big men making big hits.

England also possess a stack of mountainous men, with Manu Tuilagi, who monstered the All Blacks in 2012, back to his best form, along with 130kg No.8 Billy Vunipola and 122kg winger Joe Cokanasiga, who's been dubbed the new Jonah.

In their two recent victories over the All Blacks, potential quarterfinal opponents Ireland have shown that when they dominate the collision, they can also upset Hansen's men.

Conditions in Japan are expected to be hot, with Hansen banking on a hard-and-fast gameplan, but World Cup matches can be - and often are - brutal affairs, and the All Blacks need to muscle up or risk being knocked out.

John Day is a Newshub sports reporter, covering the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan... join us for live updates from September 20.