Manu steps up a gear

By Vatapuia Maiava ,

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The boys are very much focused already, there’s quite a lot of healthy competition for spots, and it’s a good headache to have.

The boys are very much focused already, there’s quite a lot of healthy competition for spots, and it’s a good headache to have.

The Manu Samoa means business. 

Yesterday at St. Joseph’s College, the team wasted little time as they increased the tempo in their preparations for the one-off test match against Georgia at Apia Park this Saturday.

Head Coach, Namulaulu Alama Ieremia, wasted no time in getting the boys into top shape as the players fight for places in the playing 23.

THE MANU: Coach Namulau'ulu Alama Ieremia takes the Manu Samoa through their paces at training yesterday.

THE MANU: Coach Namulau'ulu Alama Ieremia takes the Manu Samoa through their paces at training yesterday.

“Preparations so far have been good,” Coach Namulauulu told the Samoa Observer.

“We’ve had a decent first touch on Saturday as well as some new combinations we tried out.

“The boys are very much focused already, there’s quite a lot of healthy competition for spots, and it’s a good headache to have.

“I’m actually really excited to see how they shape up.”

THE MANU: Coach Namulau'ulu Alama Ieremia takes the Manu Samoa through their paces at training yesterday.
THE MANU: Coach Namulau'ulu Alama Ieremia takes the Manu Samoa through their paces at training yesterday.

Coach Namulauulu confirmed that there were injury concerns but did not specify.

 “We’ve got a few niggles and injuries from the weekend along with some concerns in certain positions but we’ll just have to manage that as we go so all in all, everything’s going well,” he said.

The coach said he was particularly impressed with the locally-based players whom he said are doing well with holding their own against some really tough overseas-based players.

“Everyone is putting their hand up,” he said.

 “Some of the local boys have been playing rep rugby for a long time now and they were certainly adjusting to the weather a lot better than the overseas based boys; they are really performing well.

“Some of our younger players, under 20 boys, as well as some new Manu Samoa faces who have only been part of the team for a few years are certainly looking hungry.

“All the boys are really looking focused.”

Coach Namulauulu has already set a criterion which will influence his selection this coming Thursday. 

“Like anything, our selections this week will be based on some key criterias that were laid out to the team,” he said.

“I am happy with our local boys; hopefully the overseas boys will see that the local boys have prepared well which creates great competition.

“Healthy competition will be great for the strength of the team.”

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