Samoa, Georgia prepare for battle
The battle lines have been drawn and Georgia has warned Samoa that they are not here for a holiday.
Come Saturday, the crowd at Apia Park has been promised a battle of the titans.
“You will see two big rams coming head to head,” Georgia Coach, Milton Haig, said.
“Everyone understands that Manu Samoa is a very physical side and Georgia is also a very physical side; it’s just a part of our natural D.N.A.
“The other part of it, that Manu Samoa is a very good attacking side and so it’s our job to be able to defend.
“When we win big games then that means we defended really well, but then again, that will be a very hard task for us on Saturday.”
As both teams prepare for the one-off test match, Manu Samoa and Georgia met with members of the media yesterday at Bluesky HQ to give the public a small sneak peek on what to expect.
“This is the first time for Georgia to be in Samoa and obviously this will be the first time that we will be playing Manu Samoa on their home ground,” said Coach Haig.
“I am excited to see how the game will unfold.”
The public should prepare for a very physical game. “In the long run this is going to be a tough match against two very good teams,” he said.
“As I’ve said before, we understand how hard this will be for us to beat Manu Samoa on their own home patch; even the All Blacks know this from last year.
“When Manu Samoa plays in Apia, then it’s a totally different scene. We will be preparing as well as we can and if we do it right, then it will give us a chance to win and that’s for sure.”
Manu Samoa Coach, Namulauulu Alama Ieremia, said they know what to expect from their opponents.
“We have a massive amount of respect for Georgia,” he said.
“We only have our experience and footage of the World Cup to go with in terms of understanding Georgia’s form; they have actually progressed over the years in terms of rankings.
“We will be going in this game with our highest quality boys because we know the challenge is right there and we will prepare that way.
“We have a relatively new side but in saying that, we have some really experienced players too.
“We are working towards a very tough game and we are excited to have an opposition like this; we are definitely looking forward to the challenge.”
As Manu Samoa faces a few issues of their own, Georgia too have their own share of speed bumps.
“We have a number of players who will be playing in the French finals so out of the six teams qualifying, we have four of them who have Georgians playing so they obviously won’t be available for this match,” Haig said.
“We have some players who just finished last week and they are still in transit on their way here so yeah.”
Nonetheless, the Georgian coach remains optimistic.
“But on the bright side, this is an opportunity for some of our younger guys coming in; it is also an opportunity for those guys who haven’t been in our environment for a couple of years and now have a chance to put their hand up again.
“Whilst our job as coaches is to win matches, we also aim to develop our players so we have some kind of consistency and succession going through.
“As we all know, the biggest event of world rugby comes up in four years and we have to make sure we have a team that is ready to compete.”