A do or die for Manu Samoa

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Trainings yesterday at the St. Joseph’s field.

Trainings yesterday at the St. Joseph’s field. (Photo: Renee Mackay (SRU))

Coach Namulauulu Alama Ieremia is looking at getting his first win as the new Head Coach for Manu Samoa, from the game with Tonga this Saturday. 

After the disappointment from their two previous games, Coach Namulauulu said that this game is very important to him and his team. 

“There’s no bigger game than the game this week-end,” he said. “This upcoming game is very important for us. I mean we go into these test matches to win. And obviously we haven’t got that yet. 

Manu Samoa Head Coach- Namulauulu Alama Ieremia

Manu Samoa Head Coach- Namulauulu Alama Ieremia

“And so it’s very vital that we get our performance right because it has been patchy to date. We’ve had some good stuff and obviously we’ve had areas that had not gone well for us. But we’ve addressed that as a team. But ultimately, it’s about the result. So the result this weekend is everything. It’s a do or die for us.”

Coach Alama said they were “gutted” with the results they got after the game with Fiji, and have learnt a lot from the game. 

“It was disappointing,” he said. “Obviously we were all gutted and very disappointed with the results, especially in the second half. I believe we were making momentum the first half but we have addressed that as a team. 

“We know that our first five positions in the second half were not good and made a lot of mistakes and go by penalties. And we actually started to panic a little bit.

“But for this weekend, we don’t have a choice. If we need to keep this Pacific Nation Cup alive for us and for the World Cup then this is a do or die for us really. It’s very important that we get the right results.”

“We took the lost pretty tough,” he said. 

Manu Samoa Head Coach- Namulauulu Alama Ieremia
Manu Samoa Head Coach- Namulauulu Alama Ieremia

 “It was a game that we felt that we had it and obviously we lost it in the second half. But we have reviewed everything well, we traveled well back to Samoa, and we started our preparations straight after Fiji.

However, Coach Namulauulu assured that they are doing everything they can to win on Saturday.

“We made sure that we get here and get straight into our work. So today (yesterday) it was about our tactical game in terms of prep and it’s great to see that the players did their homework looking at Tonga and obviously having a look at some opportunities for us. 

“We start this week by preparing well and we are going to make sure that we get the job done.”

Coach Namulauulu confirmed that some of our players are under the injury cloud after the game with Fiji. 

“There were some key injuries; we’ve had Tusi Pisi and Motu Matu’u with major injuries. They probably have 50/50 chances to play in the game on Saturday. But this is an opportunity for others to step up to the mark.”

There will be some changes in the team who will go into battle with the Ikale Tahi, said Coach Namulauulu.

“There will be some changes in the game that will play against Tonga. We’ve got some key players that have just arrived. And no doubt they will feature in some capacity in the team for this weekend

“Paul Perez and Census Johnston have arrived and will be playing for Samoa in the game with Tonga. Census was supposed to play in the game with Fiji, but unfortunately due to some travel arrangements, it was too late for him to join the team for the game with Tonga. 

“So we made the decision not to include him in the game with Fiji, but he will be joining the team for the game on Saturday.”

In his last comments, Coach Alama said he understands how important this test match is to him and his team, and they will give it their best shot to win for Samoa. 

“We will not have any other test matches for the PNC like this until next year,” he said. “I am aware of the situation and the challenges and the pressure that goes with it. It is very important that we get the right result from this game and we are doing the best we can to finish this game at a very high note. So the main thing is to stay focus on the performance and the players understand that if we get our performance right, we will get the result we want.” 

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