Barbarians claim tight victory over Samoa in East London

Faifili Levave of Samoa and Bakkies Botha of Barbarians in action Credit: Reuters

Samoa continued their World Cup preparations with a 27-24 loss to the Barbarians at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London.

However, Samoa coach Stephen Betham will be sweating on the availability of Kane Thompson for the forthcoming tournament after the experienced lock was sent off in the 16th minute for punching hooker Saia Fainga'a.

The Barbarians registered tries through Adam Thomson (two), Liam Gill, and Ben Tapuai (two) with Samoa replying with scores from Anthony Perenise, Ken Pisi and Jack Lam.

Jamie Joseph's side came flying out of the blocks with former All Blacks flanker Thomson powering over from close range with Christian Lealiifano's subsequent conversion hitting the post.

That lead did not last long, however, with Bristol prop Perenise crashing over the Baa-Baas whitewash. Tusi Pisi added the extras from the tee.

Thompson then saw red for his punch on Fainga'a, with the Wallabies front-rower being shown a yellow card for his part in the fracas.

Following all that drama, Tusi Pisi kicked a 19th-minute penalty to increase his side's lead to five points.

Queensland Reds flanker Gill touched down off a surging driving maul to bring the Barbarians back into the contest.

There was a temporary break in play as the water sprinklers switched unexpectedly on, soaking several Samoa players.

The Olympic Stadium will host five games during the World Cup, but the tournament organisers will be hoping that incident is not repeated during next month's showpiece.

The Barbarians notched their third try of the afternoon in the 29th minute with centre Tapuai gliding over following a scything break from scrum-half Luke Burgess in the build-up.

The tries kept coming with Northampton winger Ken Pisi pouncing on club-mate Kahn Fotuali'i's deft grubber kick to score in the corner. Tusi Pisi converted from the touchline to level the scores at 17-17 just before the break.

Thomson squeezed over from the side of a ruck to bag his second try of the contest as the Barbarians established a 50th-minute lead at the Stratford venue.

The Pacific Islanders levelled matters once more with the outstanding Lam taking a quick tap and crashing over under the posts.

Tapuai completed his brace in the 63rd minute after great interplay between substitute flanker Jacques Potgieter and Lealiifano as the lead continued to change hands.

Fourteen-man Samoa chased a winning score late on but the Baa-Baas held on for the victory.