Manu Samoa loses Amosa for rest of Rugby World Cup
Manu Samoa's first win at the Rugby World Cup in Japan has come as bittersweet for Coach Vaeluaga Steve Jackson and the team.
One of their stand out performers in the forwards, Afaesetiti Amosa, has been ruled out for the rest of the tournament due to an injury.
In a media statement, Vaeluagaomatagi expressed his sympathy for Amosa, whose campaign has been ended by a knee injury.
“Afa has been an outstanding member of this team and we will miss him as he is a great man. We are absolutely gutted for him. He is upbeat – but we just need to do what’s best for Afa,“ he said.
Amosa injured his right knee in the act of scoring, just after halftime, in Manu Samoa’s 34-9 victory over Russia on Tuesday night.
Assistant Coach Tuifa’asisina Alastair Rogers echoed Vaeluagaomatagi’s sentiments.
”We are just so disappointed for Afa – because he put a lot of effort into the Rugby World Cup. He put a lot of work into his performances and he was playing really well. “
The team could also front up against Scotland in their next game without Dwayne Polataivao and Motu Matu’u.
They all came off the park early with injuries.
Amosa's injury could see Tofatuimoana Solia get the call up. The Manu Samoa 7s forward started at the back of the scrum for the 15s side on the 31st of August against the New Zealand Heartland XV.
He has quickly become a crucial player in the lineup since his debut on July 27th at Apia Park.
Polataivao and Matu’u both failed their head injury assessments and couldn’t return to the field.
Matu'u's concussion came from a tackle attempt which saw him receive a yellow card.
Rey Lee-Lo was also booked for a similar offence, and Russia coach Lyn Jones said he was expecting further punishment on both occasions.
“We’ve gotta wrap arms, I know that they tried both times, but it’s a collision so we’ve gotta go lower and be smarter around that area,” Vaeluaga said.
He thought the yellow cards given by referee Romain Poite were fair punishment.
“We lost a player through injury on a similar tackle, and he got a yellow card as well,” he said, speaking to Russian prop Kirill Gotvostsev’s effort on Afaesetiti Amosa.
On the bright side, Vaeluaga and his whole team were stoked with the line out set move that lead to Ed Fidow’s first try.
The Manu looked to form a line out maul for a drive, but captain Chris Vui flicked the ball out the back to hooker Ray Niuia who was tearing around the corner.
He then threw a no-look inside pass to Fidow who streaked through a gap for an easy score.
Vui said they were chuffed with the move:
“It was just so good that what we trained on the paddock, it came out there on the field today.
“That’s what we wanna try get better at, transferring what we do at training onto that field.”
The whole coaching staff looked ecstatic with the try during the game in their box, and Vaeluaga said he was more happy for his forwards technical advisor than anything:
“Ben Afeaki’s been wanting to do that for a couple of weeks now, we’ve been doing that a lot in training.
“The skillset from Ray Niuia to throw that no look pass back inside, that’s just what some of our players can do.”