Manu Tuilagi talks about epic World Cup win
He may have scored England’s only try in their upset win over the All Blacks on the weekend, but Manu Tuilagi insists his team have won nothing yet.
The 28-year-old from Fatausi-Fogapoa in Savai'i opened the scoring just two minutes into the World Cup semifinal at Yokohama.
"This game was massive for us but we have won nothing,” Tuilagi told Samoa Observer's correspondent in Japan, Satoshi Takehana.
“It’s gonna be an exciting week preparing for the final, but it doesn’t change, it’s all about hard work and keeping focused on the next game. This one is done and we thank God that we won."
Despite the business-first approach to the coming challenge - A World Cup final against South Africa on Saturday night - the centre allowed himself time to reflect on a momentous achievement:
“It’s beyond my dreams," he said. "Unbelievable feeling, it’s amazing to get through the semis. I thank God.”
England were outstanding from start to finish and thoroughly deserved the 19-7 victory, but Tuilagi said it was still a tough game against what had been the number-one team in the world.
“The All Blacks are an unbelievable team and it is never done until the final whistle against them,” he said.
"It doesn't matter how far you are ahead you never take the foot off the gas and we knew that at half-time it wasn't enough and we had to come out and play. Fair play to our big boys they fronted up today and did all the hard work for us."
He said England were able to make all their tackles and make good use of their possession, doing enough to win:
"In that first half hour I was just trying to hang in there and remember the training and when it gets tough keep focused. You have to get a second wind to get through it. It is unbelievable and tough to take on the All Blacks. We are humble to get the win."
Prior to the game Tuilagi had talked about how special it was to face the haka, and the English team met the traditional Maori challenge standing in a V formation.
“It was such an honour to stand in front of haka as I grew up watching the haka and I tried to do it myself as a kid,” Tuilagi said.
“It was just to show we are together and we are ready for anything.”