Manusina ready for repechage clash against Tonga

The Manusina XV is well prepared and looking forward to their clash with Tonga XV on Saturday in Auckland, says coach Lauaki Ramsey Tomokino.

Coach Lauaki Ramsey Tomokino confirmed in an interview with Samoa Observer how their preparations are going and how helpful their match with Taranaki last week was for their squad's preparations.

"Preparation is going great, we assembled on Sunday and have four good pieces of training. We are building on what we learned in Taranaki and that pre-camp has proven valuable in terms of what we wanted to build on," he said.

"We are looking to be a cohesive unit that works hard. We are ensuring that our attack and defense are sorted and along the way working our micro-skills and game understanding."

In terms of injuries, he says that they only have a few players with minor injury concerns but so far the team is doing well.

"As with most campaigns, you have girls that come in with niggles. Our physio works hard on the players, but they also too have to do a bit of self-management with the tools we provide such as rollers and stretch bands to roll out tightness. 

"We are travelling okay injury-wise with only a couple of players with minor injury concerns."

The ladies will play the upcoming match as a way of giving back to their country (Samoa) and to show appreciation for their continuous support as their team prepares for the match.

"The fact that we have had the opportunity to pre-camp and camp prior to when we officially assemble under the Oceania banner on Thursday to give us the best preparation signals to the team that SRU and Samoa are fully behind them," he added.

"The players have spoken about the sense of duty to be great ambassadors for female rugby players and role models. It is their turn to give to Samoa who has provided the platform for Manusina to exist."

Tomokino also added that he is missing some of his players who cannot travel for the match but he is also happy to see some new players who will be representing Samoa on Saturday.

"We certainly are relishing the opportunity to play a test match. We miss our players from Samoa, Australia, and the USA that can't be here. This has been an opportunity in building depth," he said.

"I am excited about some of the new players that will be taking the field and in the squad currently, we have 14 debutants should they be involved in the game. 

"We have left no stone unturned. The most disappointing aspect has to be the players that we have approached that have turned us down. It is fine, we just move on with those that truly want to wear the Blue jersey and represent their Samoan pride."

The Samoa Rugby Union on Thursday evening released the Manusina XV squad to play Tonga on Saturday at Auckland's Waitakere Stadium, New Zealand.

The team squad is:

  • Aiesha Smalley - Auckland, Maagiagi, and Vaigaga.
  • Ana-Maria Afuie - Marist St Pats, Falefa, Luatuanuu, and Vailele.
  • Ana Mamea - Manurewa, Vaiala, Matautu Lefaga, Samata i Tai, and Levi Saleimoa.
  • Beryl Ena - Avalon, Aleipata Mutiatele, and Faleasiu.
  • Cathy Leuta - Manurewa, Salani Falealili, and Faleasiu.
  • Easter Savelio - Linwood, Vailoa Palauli, and Faala.
  • Gerardine Solia-Gibb - Fasitoo-uta, and Falealupo.
  • Janet Taumoli - Oriental-Rongotai, Lona Fagaloa, Mutiatele, Vaitoloa, and Sataoa.
  • Jhana Magele - Siumu and Iva.
  • Jennifer Simati - Napier Tech, Fasitoo-uta, and Fatausi.
  • Joanne Seumalo - Waitakere, Leauvaa, and Tuanai.
  • Josephine Falesita - Oriental-Rongotai, Saipipi, and Satoalepai.
  • Leilani Erwin - Kaikohe, Lotofaga, and Lalovaea.
  • Lumepa Maiava - Manurewa, Falelima, and Gataivai.
  • Luti Sikoloni - Auckland Marist, Vailuutai, Faleatiu, Samalaeulu, and Puapua.
  • Makayla Eli - Ardmore Marist, Tulaele Vailoa, and Lalomanu.
  • Maki Vaiouga - Auckland Marist, Moataa, Malaela, Aleipata, Fausaga Safata, and Salelologa.
  • Mata Tuitama - Hutt Old Boys Marist, Faleasiu, Tafatafa, and Falealili.
  • Marilyn Live - Kia Toa, Gautavai, and Matautu Lefaga.
  • Michelle Curry - Wanderers, Vaoala, Faatoia, and Taufusi.
  • Nina Foaese - Northern United and Vailoa Faleata.
  • Olalini Tafoulua -Auckland Marist, Letogo, Fasitoo Tai, Safotu, and Lefanoalii Safune.
  • Onjeurlina Leaitaua - Auckland Marist, Leulumoega, Faleapuna, Iva and Samata.
  • Sui Pauaraisa - Linwood and Foailalo.
  • Tori Iosefa - Napier Tech, Satalo and Leulumoega.
  • Toye Lotoaso - Parematta - Plimmerton, Alamagoto and Avao.
  • Xavier Tusa - Northern United, Nofoalii and Leulumoega.
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