Manu Samoa Captain, Kahn Fotuali’i, can hardly wait.
After the disappointing loss to the All Blacks last week, Fotuali’i said they are ready to put the loss behind them as they eye a victory against Wales on Friday night.
“We will put out a performance on Friday night to make the people of Samoa proud again,” Fotuali’i declared.
“The result against the All Blacks was disappointing but when me and the boys got off the plane and coming back to Samoa, we’re pretty excited to be here.
“Arriving at the airport and seeing everybody turn up was pretty awesome. It got our spirits back up and we are ready to go again.”
Fotuali’i said the team still has a lot of work to do.
He is also confident they took a lot of positives from the All Blacks loss.
“We knew we did some good things but there was a lot of things that we could work on.
“We’re also realistic because we played the best team in the world and we knew it was going to be tough, but we thought we would give them a good shot.”
As for the people of Samoa and their support, Captain Fotuali’i made a plea.
“Just to keep supporting us as you always do. Hopefully we will rectify the performance this Friday night against Wales. I the meantime, I want to thank you very much Samoa.”
Coach Namulauulu Alama Ieremia echoed Fotuali’s comments.
“It’s very emotional obviously to come back here to see all the support and it’s awesome. It’s touched the boys and I’m sure they’ll use that in their preparation this week. It’s very heartening to still see the boys pick themselves up.
Namulauulu said there were lots of positives from the loss against the All Blacks.
“We demonstrated that we can play and that’s the part from the coach’s point of view that I’ll focus on. It was disappointing to lose but in reflection and after going through a little bit of review, my message to the players at half time was that we came here to find out who we are and find out more about some of the systems that we wanted to plan.”
Asked if changes are likely to the starting team, Namualuulu said:
“We’ve got some major injuries to consider. Albert Nikoro has been ruled out he has a fractured eye socket.
“Tim Nanai Williams is going through a medical check up on his ankle, and we’ve got other players that have to be medically cleared in the next couple of days.”
Namulauulu added that “momentum is always important for campaigns like this.
“We’ve got to make sure that we get the momentum right and get the timing right and also we picked a squad that I’ll be comfortable with so that we can use everyone.”