Manu preparing for desperate Scotland in Kobe
The Manu Samoa are expecting a stung Scotland to come out fighting having lost their Rugby World Cup opener 27-3 to Ireland.
They’ll face off on Monday night at Kobe Misaki Stadium, in what is a must-win Pool A matchup after Japan upset Ireland 19-12 on Saturday.
“We’re obviously ready for a bit of backlash from their loss, pretty sure they’re gonna be hurting from getting a spanking from Ireland but we’re ready for that,” said returning captain Jack Lam.
The 32-year-old missed Manu’s opening 34-9 win over Russia through injury, and said it was frustrating to watch on from the sidelines.
“I haven’t done that many times, and hopefully I never do it again,” Lam said.
“I think the boys have set a pretty high standard.
“Hopefully I can just add value to it, to what they’ve already started.”
While Manu Samoa head coach Vaeluaga Steve Jackson was excited to be able to pick most of the players that defeated Russia again, he welcomed back Lam, and also Piula Fa’asalele who will come off the bench:
“He’s brought experience and excitement and energy, those are the three words that describe him at the moment.”
He said the whole group are very motivated to succeed after the suspensions given to Motu Matu’u and Rey Lee-Lo.
Assistant coach Tuifaasisina agreed that it has been a challenging, but highly motivating week:
“We’re just gonna go for it, it’s as simple as that.”
He said the Manu need to get their game right across the board to beat their Tier One opponents.
“They’ve got a good kicking game, they’ve got good setpieces,” Tuifaasisina said.
“We realise that we’ve gotta go up a level from our performance against Russia.”
The assistant coach said that game was a good first step:
“And now we’ve gotta take a next step to where we’re going.”