Supporters at last nights Manu Samoa opener in Kumagaya with a 34-9 victory over Russia. Photo: FB Meta Nonoa-Tyrell
WEDNESDAY 25 SEPTEMBER 2019: Manu Samoa hooker Motu Matuu and halfback Dwayne Polataivao have failed concussion tests and will not take the field again in what’s left for the teams World Cup campaign. This is according to Head Coach Vaeluagaomatagai Steve Jackson in the post-match press conference after Manu Samoa’s 34-9 opener against Russia at in Kumagaya last night.
He also said that No.8. Afaesetiti Amosa, who twisted his leg in an awkward position as he scored and did some serious damage to his knee. Management is awaiting scan results but Jackson said “it doesn’t look good.” Afaesetiti’s leg was shown in a white cast minutes after he was carried from the field on a stretcher.
Jackson however has acknowledged the teams’ composure despite going down to 13 men in the first half described by commentators as chaotic and scrappy. “Our defence was outstanding tonight,” he said.
“We are proud of the boys composure, we knew there was a lot left in the tank and pretty happy with performance.”
Russia failed to capitalize on the 10 minutes when Samoa had only thirteen players. In contrast, Manu Samoa scored 14 points when Russia was short of one player on a yellow card.
“Things weren’t going our way and was just a change of tactics, hold on to the ball a little bit more. Try and get through alot more phases than what we did in the first half,” said Jackson.
Despite views that the two Samoan players were lucky to have had yellow cards, Jackson said it was the right decision. Samoa also lost a player when he was injured from a similar tackle and got a yellow card.
“We knew the game was there and just needed to stick to the things that were working well for us. The belief in this group is as high and our fitness is second to none.”
Captain Chris Vui said he told the players to stay in the ‘blue’ which is ‘calm head’ and stay focused on the job and he was pretty proud that the boys stayed composed.
Also impressive was the set move off the lineout maul that sent winger Ed Fidow for the first of his two tries of the night.
Manu Samoa scored six tries to Alapati Leiua (2), Ed Fidow (2), Afaesetiti Amosa, Reynold Lee Lo. Con: Tusi Pisi (2). Russia: Pens: 3
Manu Samoa has topped Pool A with a bonus point and next face Scotland on 30 September. The team has set as it goal “to create their own legacy” by reaching the quarters in this years’ World Cup.