Russia plan to bring focus, intensity to Manu matchup
After putting forward a brave showing in their loss to hosts Japan in the opening game of the Rugby World Cup, Russia are turning their attention to their second round opponents: the Manu Samoa.
The game will be played at Kumagaya on Tuesday night, with kickoff coming less than four days after Russia’s 30-10 loss to Japan.
Coach Lyn Jones said it’s a quick turnaround:
"We need recovery and fresh legs - confidence to understand, as long as we are on the right track, to put more focus and intensity," he said.
"We appreciate the individual players that Samoa have. Japan play more as a team whereas Samoa have individually fantastic players with strong abilities."
Prop Kirill Gotovtsev will have to face off against the Manu scrum on Tuesday.
"We need to recover and adjust some little things. We have to play better than we did [against Japan]," he said.
Russian captain Vasily Artemyev said his team are really looking forward to the match:
“It’s the first time in my history playing against a Pacific Islands team.”
Fullback Artemyev (32) is a part of Russia’s aging core of veteran players.
They are the oldest squad at the Rugby World Cup, with an average age over 31.
Manu Samoa’s World Cup kicks off against Russia at 11:15 pm Samoan time on Tuesday night.