Samoa thrashes Tonga, keeps World Cup hopes alive
The Manusina rugby team has progressed to the Final Qualification Tournament for the 2021 Rugby World Cup after defeating Tonga, 40-0, and keeping their World Cup qualification chances alive.
The Manusina recorded the win at the Trusts Arena in Auckland on Saturday night.
Two of the six tries scored in the game were scored by the team’s winger, Tori Iosefo.
Full-back Makayla Eli added 10 points to the team’s score, keeping Samoa's chances to qualify for next year’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand alive.
Manusina captain, Masuisui Pauaraisa thanked the team’s families in Samoa and everyone for their prayers.
"We’ve only been together for a week and it’s amazing, the girls have improved and improved every single training. We trusted our game plan, we’re going through,” she said.
The outbreak of COVID-19 postponed the match which had been scheduled to take place in Apia in April.
Two years ago, the two teams faced off and Manusina took the win with a match score of 68-7.
The team took the lead on Saturday only seven minutes in after halfback Makayla Eli put a penalty between the posts.
Nina Foaese and replacement scrum-half Jhana Magale later combined for a set-piece play that ended with Iosefo dotting down in the right corner to score a try.
Eli missed the conversion, but a penalty soon after stretched Samoa’s lead to 11 points.
The Manusina were well on top and scored a second try in the 28th minute.
Hooker Margaret Vaiouga was brought down within metres of the line, but her front-row colleague Marilyn Live picked up from the ruck and burrowed over to score. Eli’s conversion to make the score 18-0.
The team’s lead grew again before half-time as Iosefo notched her second try of the afternoon.
The right-wing brushed off her opposite number, Taina Halasima, as she powered over in the right corner once again.
Some players were missing on Saturday's test match as they were unable to travel, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Accordingly, Saturday’s squad included 14 debutants.
The full squad that took on Tonga on Saturday included the following players:
The squad that played Tonga on Saturday was:
- 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.