Manu 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.

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 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.