Manu Samoa

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.

Manu Samoa prepares for Fiji challenge

However, Manu Samoa remains upbeat and positive ahead of Saturday’s much awaited showdown against a free-flowing Fijian side in Suva.

“Fiji possesses a different challenge this week with the way they play the game. Big fast men running at pace. We know it will be very physical against our Pacific neighbours. It’s an exciting challenge,” said Manu Samoa Defence Coach Tuifaasisina Alistair Rogers.

But it’s a challenge the Samoans can’t wait to take on – after a close run loss against the USA.

Manu Samoa focused on bettering performance against USA

The Steve Jackson-coached side is not worried about rankings.

However, the players are focused on improving their game following last weekend’s opener against Tonga.

Jackson says he has confidence in his players after a successful outing in the last match against Tonga.

“We are happy with where we are at the moment and are excited with the direction we are taking. We are already there now and we need to just take the next step,” Jackson said.

Nine changes for USA side to taken on Samoa

James Hilterbrand takes over from Dylan Fawsitt at hooker while lock Greg Peterson will replace the injured Nick Civetta. Civetta suffered a lower limb injury against Canada last week and his availability for the World Cup is now under a cloud of uncertainty.

Former Hurricanes flanker Tony Lamborn replaces Malon Al-Jiboori on the blindside flank.

Samoa and Tonga turned down chance to play rugby test elsewhere

Manu Samoa beat Tonga 25-17 on Saturday afternoon in wet and muddy ground conditions, which raised questions from players about the decision-making and player safety processes prior to the match.

Pacific Rugby Players' Association CEO Aayden Clarke said players from both teams were briefed about the weather conditions during a training camp in Auckland earlier this month, while officials from World Rugby raised the prospect of playing the game offshore, with no other grounds in Samoa meeting international standard.

Anger in American Samoa over donation to Manu Samoa

RNZ Pacific's correspondent reported that Facebook had lit up with criticism since the donation last Thursday.

One of the main complaints was that $US100,000 had been promised to the American Samoa National Olympic Committee for Team American Samoa at this month's Pacific Games, but only $US20,000 was given.

Other criticisms have included that people were still waiting for their tax refunds, there's a freeze on overtime and salary increments, and money should go to school improvements and roads, before it goes to a foreign rugby team.