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Manu Samoa wary of Fiji threat

Manu Samoa head coach Vaeluaga Steve Jackson wants to emulate Japan's performance from two weeks ago when his side play Fiji on Saturday.

The Japanese Brave Blossoms upset the Flying Fijians 34-21 in the opening round of the Pacific Nations Cup and Vaeluaga saw things his team can take into their own game against Fiji.

“[Japan] held onto the ball really well, and they played the game at pace," he said.

“They nullified the space and opportunities for Fiji."

Vaeluaga said his team need to minimise their errors and keep their defence tight:

“The more opportunities and confidence you give this Fijian team, they thrive on that.

“We’ve gotta hold onto the ball and when we kick we’ve gotta kick into the right areas of the field.

“We’re very mindful of their ability to offload, their ability to play what’s in front of them."

He said another key part of the game will be outlasting the opposition in the contact areas:

“Any Fiji-Samoan test, first and foremost you’re going to get physical battles, you’re going to get big collisions; that’s what both teams like.

“We enjoy the physical battles up front.

“But also being able to do that at speed, and the flair that Samoan rugby has always been renowned for.

“I just hope that the weather’s going to be good, and both teams will put on a good display of rugby."

He said Fiji, who are currently ninth in the World Rugby Rankings, have shown their class by beating France and the Maori All Blacks in recent times:

“They’re building nicely, they’ve got a lot of depth now with the majority of their players playing over in Europe.

“They’re actually developing their players really well in Fiji as well with quite a few in the World Cup frame."


Fiji team to play Manu Samoa at ANZ Stadium, Suva at 8:15 pm Samoan time

1. Campese Ma’afu
2. Sam Matavesi
3. Peni Ravai
4. Tevita Cavubati
5. Leone Nakarawa
6. Dominiko Waqaniburotu
7. Semi Kunatani
8. Viliame Mata
9. Frank Lomani
10. Ben Volavola
11. Patrick Osbourne
12. Levani Botia
13. Semi Radradra
14. Vereniki Goneva
15. Setareki Tuicuvu

16. Mesulame Dolokoto
17. Eroni Mawi
18. Kalivati Tawake
19. Tevita Ratuva
20. Peceli Yato
21. Nikola Matawalu
22. Josh Matavesi
23. Kini Murimurivalu

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