Experienced Manu Samoa first five eighth, Tusiata Pisi, is back and he is pushing hard for a place in the starting team to play Fiji this weekend.
The Sunwolves star joined the squad at the end of last week and sat out the Georgia match on Saturday where Patrick Fa’apale took charge.
But Pisi got an opportunity to run with the team yesterday evening at St. Joseph’s College where the Manu held their last training session before departing for Fiji today.
“It feels great to be back,” Pisi told the Samoa Observer. “I’ve been looking to come here and play for Samoa after Super Rugby. “And it’s been good to get a couple of trainings under my belt before the game with Fiji.”
Watching the game against Georgia from the sidelines on Saturday, Pisi said it was unfortunate the Manu couldn’t quite pull it off. He said he was proud of the young players.
“It was a first set game for the boys and we’ve got a young team and I think that they did well in the game with Georgia,” he said.
“I am definitely proud of our new players.
“It’s always special to play your first game for Samoa. Obviously they were playing for their family, villages and it’s special. And I’m proud of them for putting up their hand to represent our country.” Looking ahead to Fiji this weekend, Pisi is under no illusion that they have a lot of work to do.
“We need to work out on our set pieces and turnover of defence,” he said. “We just need to learn how to close a game out.
“We’ve got a lot of things that we need to work on moving forward. And we are working on to improve the mistakes we made in the game with Georgia and we will see that in the game with Fiji."
Pisi said it’s vital for the team to get the set pieces right.
“Once we have that, we will be able to close a good game,” he said.
“Fiji is an experienced team. They are a quality side with quality players and so we have to prepare ourselves really well so that we could go into that game confident with our preparations.
“We’ve just got to prepare well and focus on getting our set pieces well.
“We know Fiji is a tough opposition and so we have to be well-prepared and stay focussed on our team and stick to our plan.
“As a team, we need to work together and stay focus and have faith in our preparations.”
Pisi is among some of the more experienced players who joined the team late last week including prop Sakaria Taulafo.