Manu Sina learns from Oceania Championship for next year

Manu Sina coach Ramsey Tomokino left Samoa to return to New Zealand today having reviewed his team’s performance at the Oceania Women’s Rugby Championship with the Samoa Rugby Union.

The team have a year to prepare for next year’s tournament, which will act as a qualifier for the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup to be hosted in New Zealand.

 “Now we’ve got a window where we can build and work towards (next year’s Oceania Championship),” Tomokino said.

“There was good learning on a whole lot of levels, with the girls being new to touring, being in that sort of environment.”

Samoa had two wins and a loss, finishing 2nd overall at the 2018 Oceania Women’s Rugby Championship in Fiji last week.

“They were all really disappointed in the Fiji result (losing 43-12 in the title decider on Saturday), but I said at the end of the day we were extremely proud of them, Samoa was extremely proud of them,” Tomokino said.

He said all the girls are three test matches better for the experience.

“It was a learning curve for the girls, just reacting to what’s happening.

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“It’s a combination of factors, better decision-making will come with experience.

“(Fiji) are a good team and they’re our benchmark that we need to chase.”

Tomokino said it was a sad time after the tournament with the team saying goodbye to each other and going their separate ways.

“We created a really good culture, and the girls bought into it, and added to it.

“The Messenger group with the whole team is still going off, everyone is missing everyone, asking when’s the next one.”

Within the Samoa Rugby Union review of the campaign, discussions took place about more matches for the Manu Sina next year.

“There are certain scenarios we’ve looked at,” said Tomokino.

He said there have been invitations to play Super W teams from Australia, but funding will be a barrier.

“Without an injection from a major sponsor that won’t be possible.

“We also want as many girls as possible playing in Super W or the Farah-Palmer Cup domestic competition in New Zealand.”

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