Pacific Nation Cup | SPORTS

Samoa Make Changes For Tonga

The Manu Samoa are not car­ried away in their 31-26 win against Australia A in their World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup opener last week.
08 Jul 2022 18:07
Samoa Make Changes For Tonga
Manu Samoa team training at Albert Park, Suva, on July 5, 2022. They will take on Tonga at 12pm tomorrow at Churchill Park, Lautoka. Photo: Manu Samoa

The Manu Samoa are not car­ried away in their 31-26 win against Australia A in their World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup opener last week.

They are expecting Tonga to be hungry for a win tomorrow at Churchill Park, Lautoka follow­ing their 36-0 thumping from the Vodafone Flying Fijians at the HFC Bank Stadium, Suva, last Sat­urday.

Samoa meet Tonga at 12pm while Fiji take on Australia A at 3:30pm.

Samoa head coach, Seilala Mapu­sua, has made a few changes to his side with first five eighth Aj Ala­timu on the starting line-up while Rodney Iona who had kicked 6 points for Samoa against Australia A has been rested.

Another change in the start is winger Ed Fidow. Captain Michael Alaalatoa remains captain and will start at tighthead prop.

“When Samoa plays Tonga, it’s really a tough challenge,” Mapu­sua said.

“They will be much better com­pared to the game last week, we expect a very fired up and deter­mined Ikale Tahi side.

“There are a few changes, and we’re making sure we are getting good game time throughout the whole squad.

“It’s very hot here in Fiji, we just managing our players around and everyone deserves an opportunity. We will be going in there with our best squad, available to us.”

Mapusua is grateful with how things are with the Manu Samoa side.

They hope to be consistent throughout the 80-minutes and manage their game well.

Asked on what aspects they need to improve on, he said: “Game management; how we managing the game especially how we enter in the second half where we prob­ably, energy levels are low and be able to deal with that pressure.

“Set pieces always a work on for us as well. We are really happy that we were able to finish strong last week and just looking at the things we need to improve on.

“This week we’ll just focus on Tonga and that’s what matters to us at the moment. It’s a very com­petitive PNC, some really strong squads.

“We won’t read too much from the score line last week, Tonga is a very proud team and we expect them to put everything into this weekend as well.”

He also urged Samoan fans and familes to cheer them on at Churchill Park tomorrow.

“Looking forward to see the crowd in Lautoka,” he said.

“We’ve seen the last Supr Rugby game with the Drua against the Chiefs, it looked awesome. I just can’t wait for everyone to be sup­porting Manu Samoa on tomor­row.”

Feedbacks: sereana.salalo@fijisun.com.fj



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