6 Jun 2011

Samoa win Junior World Rugby Trophy, promoted to top tier

10:25 am on 6 June 2011

Samoa have earnt promotion back to youth rugby's elite after beating Japan in the final of the Junior World Rugby Tournament.

Japan had raced to a 17-0 lead with just 20 minutes gone before tries to Jordan Taufua, Robert Lilomaiava and Faavae Faavae gave Samoa a narrow two point lead at halftime.

The eventual 31-24 win caps off an unbeaten fortnight in Georgia and qualifies the team for next years IRB Junior World Championship, the elite Under 20 competition.

Team manager Sami Leota says the team is thrilled they'll be back amongst the worlds best again in 2012.

"That's the whole aim of our campaign and certainly a big relief for the team. Winning this game today is an entrance for us for the world championship next year and mission's accomplished. Congratulations to all the boys, who played their hearts out today. Japan put up a very good team and certainly didn't just give us the win."

Meanwhile hosts Georgia beat Uruguay 20-15 in the third-place playoff, Canada thrashed Russia in the battle for fifth while the USA edged Zimbabwe 30-29 to claim seventh spot.