Re: Manu Samoa team
No Kahn Fotuali’i, no Kieran Fonotia (who was quite loud on twitter the other week), no Tim Nanai-Williams. Despite those big names out, our backline is still good but Tusi Pisi is getting old and stale. What has happened to James So’oialo? He was our best kicker in the past decade (despite disciplinary issues) yet I haven’t seen him in the Manu Samoa since the 2013 South African series.
These world cup qualifiers are the most important matches since the last World Cup for Samoa. Although they are tier-3 teams, we should not be taking Germany or Portugal lightly.
They will be coming with a forward pack ready to draw Samoa into giving away penalties at set pieces and gradually wear Samoa down by kicking over penalty after penalty.
This is how Georgia and Romania have dominated Samoa in recent years - through their forwards. Our forwards need to harden up and learn how to defend a rolling maul from an opposing lineout, especially near our own goal line. That is our number one weakness.
I can’t believe all those players play in Europe yet they cannot defend a rolling maul.
Forget about our backs, we know our backs are good but if they don’t get the ball and they are forced to defend all day (eventually giving away penalties) because the other side’s forwards are dominating our forwards, well it’s a waste of time.