Pacific Nations Cup

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.

Japan continues to show mettle with impressive win over Tonga

The Brave Blossoms put aside the absence of their head coach, an early yellow card to Kotaro Matsushima and some worrying penalties to ensure Tonga was never in the Pacific Nations Cup game at Hanazono Rugby Stadium on Saturday, finishing as 41-7 winners in stifling heat and humidity.

With the forwards showing the benefits of the Miyazaki “Camp of Hell,” and the backs making good use of the balls that came their way, the Brave Blossoms put in a performance that will have worried their World Cup Pool A opponents, particularly with the speed at which they played the game.

Pitau returns to captain Tonga

Piutau was absent from last weekend’s loss against Samoa, with Elvis Taione given the captain’s armband in his absence.

Former Highlander and current Benetton representative Nasi Manu was originally named to captain last week’s side, but was changed late in the week.

Taione will be given a rest this weekend. Instead, Sosefo Sakalia will pack down at hooker with Ma’afu Fia taking Ben Tameifuna’s spot on the tighthead.

The Toutai Kefu coached side will feature most of its experience players such as Cooper Vuna, Steve Mafi, Siale Piutau to name a few.

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 pre-World Cup training camp 'one of the best' as Pacific Nations Cup looms

In fact, their current training camp in Auckland ahead of the upcoming Pacific Nations Cup is “one of the best” Manu Samoa have had, according to star prop Logovi’i Mulipola.

The Newcastle Falcons prop is part of head coach Steve Jackson’s 31-man squad for the pre-World Cup tournament, and told One News of how much different their lead-up to the 2019 spectacle has been compared to recent competitions, which have often been dogged by poor resources and lacklustre training conditions.

Fiji draft 9 players as 27-man squad named for Pacific Nations

The match against Japan will serve as a key Rugby World Cup warm up for Fiji who play Uruguay in their second pool game of the tournament in Japan at the Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium on September 25.

Manu Samoa ring changes as Tonga, Fiji add firepower

Jordan Lay, Seilala Lam and Viliamu Afatia form a brand new front row combination, with Logovii Mulipola out injured, while Joe Tekori joins captain Chris Vui in the second row.

TJ Ioane starts on the openside flank with Jack Lam shifting to number eight.

Dwayne Polataivao gets the nod at halfback, with Alofa Alofa replacing the injured Rey Lee-Lo at centre, in his first test appearance for three years, while veteran Paul Perez comes onto the right wing.

The 'Ikale Tahi have brought in four new faces with one positional change to the run-on team.

Samoa wary of Tonga

The former Wallaby fullback said the Tongans would come down hard on them, more physical in their approach.

“They will have a few tricks up their sleeves but we got to make sure that we look after ourselves, we take care of the ball and we aid the game on our terms,” he said.

Latham however added that respect for the opposition was vital for any intense competition.