Coach demands better attitude from Samoa A
Samoa A coach Muliagatele Brian Lima is demanding a change in attitude from his players, as they look to avoid three losses from three at the World Rugby Pacific Challenge when they play hosts Fiji Warriors at 6pm Samoan time on Saturday.
Samoa A followed up their first loss against Junior Japan with a 15-12 defeat to Tonga on Tuesday on a last minute penalty.
Muliagatele said he was really disappointed after the Tonga game.
"It wasn't the result we expected.
"The boys are very hurt and disappointed."
He said they'll learn from that game.
"I'm sure they'll change their attitude.
"That's all, everything else is in place [for a good performance]."
Samoa A's struggles in the World Rugby Pacific Challenge bear a stark contrast to the triumphant World Rugby Americas Pacific Challenge campaign from October 2018.
Muliagatele said that's because this tournament is restricted to mostly under-23 players, unlike the open age Americas Pacific Challenge.
"Some of these players here are only 18,19 20.
“The most important players that need to be here are the U20s."
Muliagatele said development was the focus, providing a pathway for players from the U20s before the Manu.
“We need the U20 to be a really strong team, identify the right people."
He said some sort of programme was needed to keep the players training together for longer, and continue progress, giving the example of Fiji's academy.
Muliagatele said they are expecting Fiji Warriors to try and run Samoa A around.
"We expect Fiji to play a high speed of the game, like they played against Tonga.
"Yesterday we trained on how to defend them."
He lamented the absence of first-five Patrick Fa'apale, who is home in Samoa with his wife, who was expecting a child last week.
"We miss him," said Muliagatele.
“The most important position we lack at this tournament is first-five."
Manu Samoa pivot Alai D'Angelo Leuila filled that position in the last game, after playing outside Fa'apale at second-five last October.
“I think he needs someone to be with him, two players to share knowledge and lead the backs."