Manusina claims first regional title
Manusina will now compete in Tier 2 of the new World Rugby WXV competition after they claimed the Oceania Rugby Women's Championship over the weekend.
Going head to head with Fijiana in the final on the Gold Coast in Australia, an intense battle between two of the Pacific's leading teams saw the Samoan national women's rugby team come out on top with a 19-18 victory.
The historical one-point win is Manusina's first-ever Oceania Rugby Women's Championship title and ensured their place in the World Women's XV 2 in Cape Town, South Africa later this year.
The team's Vice-Captain Cassie Siataga secured the win for Samoa with a drop kick in the last minute of the dramatic match against Fijiana.
Samoa will now take their place in WXV 2 as Oceania champions, alongside the qualified teams Scotland, Japan and South Africa when the tournament kicks off in Cape Town on 14 October 2023.
In an interview with Oceania Rugby after the match, Manusina Captain Sui Pauaraisa was "speechless" at the team's history-making win.
"We knew that we were the underdogs, we knew we had nothing to lose," she said. “We knew that Fiji was going to be our test throughout this whole tournament and that they were the champs from the Super W, and they beat us last year.
"I’m so proud and grateful for these girls, we hustled from that first whistle to the last minute.”
The defeat was Fiji’s first in the championship since 2019 and this means they will compete in WXV 3 this October, alongside Ireland, Kazakhstan and Kenya.
Manusina went undefeated throughout the tournament, defeating Tonga 69-5 in their opening match followed by a convincing 83-0 thumping of the Papua New Guinea national team. This secured their place to go up against the Fijiana for the Oceania Championship over the weekend.
Manusina XV Management comprises Mataafa Ramsey Tomokino (Head Coach), Taala Cynthia Taala-Timaloa (Forwards Coach), Filoi Eneliko (Technical Advisor), Asiata Onehunga Mata’uiau (Technical Advisor), Levili Leilua (Strength and Conditioning), Muliagatele Niuafolau Bakulich-Leavasa (Physiotherapist), Papalii Puna Tia (Team Manager) and Tauanu’u Nick Bakulich (Operations Manager).
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