Manu Samoa

Former NZ 7s player Tuatagaloa overwhelmed to be back home in Samoa

The 29-year-old was part of the Manu Samoa team in the recent Pacific Nations Cup and scored the winning try against Tonga in Apia Park.

Speaking to TVNZ One News, Tuatagaloa said he is overwhelmed to be back home.

“This is where I grew up, probably the best village in Samoa. This is the beautiful village of Samatau. This is where I did my primary school and intermediate.

Donning the blue jersey for his country was always his dream ever since he was little boy growing up in Samoa.

Pacific Island players reaching 'boiling point' over Northern blockade

A current member of the Pacific Players’ Association, Seilala Mapusua told TVNZ1’s Breakfast this morning the unlevel playing field faced by Tier Two nations is more dire than World Rugby acknowledges.

“Until we see some real change and movement from the north, it’s going to carry on being this way,” said Mapusua who was speaking after Fijian born Sevu Reece impressed for the All Blacks in their win over Australia.

Manu Samoa climbs up in World Rugby rankings

The Steve Jackson-coached side is currently in 16th place behind Tonga who is currently in 15th.

Samoa recorded its best position back in 2013 when they were ranked 7th before dropping to 17th from last year.

The ‘Ikale Tahi’ Tongan rugby side on the other hand, recorded its best position back in 2011 finishing in top ten and placing in ninth place.

Fiji has currently dropped from eighth to tenth place in the rankings.

The Rugby World Cup will be held from 20 September to 2 November in Japan.

     

Four players that started for Manu Samoa last weekend retain their places

The Steve Jackson coached side lost to USA 13-10 last week.

Filo Paulo remains in the second‑row while TJ Ioane moves from openside to number eight.

In the backs, outside centre Kieron Fonotia and full‑back Ahsee Tuala survive the cut.

Logovi'i Munipola, Motu Matu'u and Paul Alo Emile form an all‑new front‑row partnership and Kane Leaupepe joins Paulo in the second row.

Jack Lam captains Samoa for the fourth time at openside and Chris Vui packs down on the other flank.

Manu Samoa mindful of crucial battle against Flying Fijians

Head Coach Steve Jackson said they know that it will be a physical and rugged rugby experience.

 “Any Fiji and Samoa test is foremost going to be physical battle and big collisions, he said.

“I have told the boys to stick to a system and structure and those who will be on the ground will expect physical contacts.”

Jackson adds Fiji has beaten some very good teams and it would be a very exciting match to watch.

“This is an opportunity to get our confidence back after last weekend will be looking to step up our game and run the game as we expect.”

Flying Fijians expected to feature new players

Coach John McKee says he will mix his line-up with some senior and experienced players.

“This week you’ll see probably see some players who have never played up until now to now to combine with some who have been playing in the past weeks.” 

The Fiji Times reports that the players are bracing for a fast and physical Pacific rugby rivalry encounter on Saturday in the World Rugby sanctioned tournament.

Fiji has fallen short of retaining the title after their loss to Japan in the first round and a win against Canada in the second round.

PM defends donation to Manu Samoa

Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi defended the donation at a fundraising radiothon held two weeks ago in American Samoa.

Another $US50,000 was raised from other sources during the radiothon.

There's been an angry reaction from the public in American Samoa regarding the donation towards Samoa's Rugby World Cup campaign.

One of the main complaints was that $US100,000 had been promised to the recent American Samoan Pacific Games team, but only $US20,000 was given.

Tuilaepa said public opinion is part of a democratic society and people have a right to complain.

Fiji expects a tough match against Samoa

Fiji Airways Flying Fijians coach John McKee says they know what a physical side Samoa is and they probably felt a little bit unlucky in the game on Saturday.

McKee says the Samoan players will be behind each other and come prepared for the match.

FijiVillage reports changes are expected to be made to the team to face Samoa as McKee is working on getting the right combinations before the Rugby World Cup.

Fiji plays Samoa at 7.15pm (local time) Saturday at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.

 

Sao is the player to watch in the Manu Samoa side

Identified in the Samoan domestic championship he has made serious inroads in terms of his development going from weight training sessions with 32 coconuts bundled together to doing 140kg squats at the gym.

He is a powerful ball carrier and will get his chance in the Pacific Nations Cup. Arguably their best player is fullback Ahsee Tuala, a lethal, try scoring presence, who plays with the Northampton Saints.

Manu Samoa lose captain for 6 weeks

The injury blow also comes just seven weeks out from the Rugby World Cup.

Samoa were narrowly beaten 13-10 by the USA at ANZ stadium in Suva, the second-ever win for the Eagles, led by fly-half AJ MacGinty, over the Manu.

Samoa's coach Steve Jackson said they went in at half-time with a bit of wind in their sails, but overall struggled to execute their game plan at crucial moments.