26 Sep 2011

Sport: Samoa too strong for Fiji; keep RWC playoff hopes alive

12:03 pm on 26 September 2011

Manu Samoa kept alive their hopes of Rugby World Cup quarter final berth, beating Fiji 27-7 in front of 60 thousand fans at Eden Park on Sunday.

It took until the 62nd minute for halfback Kahn Fotuali'i to score the game's firt try but Samoa's failure to get a four try bonus point means even a win over South Africa on Friday won't guarantee them a place in the knockout rounds.

First five Tusi Pisi says the weather dictated that the team curb their natural instincts and kick a lot of ball and play for territory.

"I think we talked about all week, just what we got out of Wales was we played a bit too much rugby in our own half but the conditions today we just needed to plug the corners and just make sure the ball is in front of our forwards."

The games was marred by a number of handling errors and turnovers and Samoan captain Mahonri Schwalger they'll need to improve against the Springboks, including up front.

I think we've done alright in our set pieces today with this area which we've been concentrating on the whole week but when you come against a big team like South Africa you make sure that you set pieces can cope well as we're still going to go back, the whole week, and prepare ourselves for the big game yeh.

The result saw Fiji eliminated from playoff contention and captain Deacon Manu says they just struggled to get anything going throughout the match.

We turned it over must have been it felt like 20 times in the contact area and turning that over that many times in an international you're going to be really struggling to win games. You know that was a key component to why we lost, we couldn't really go through the phases. We sort of looked at the strength of the Samoan side when they played Australia and even against Wales they turned over the ball a number of times. They send a lot of numbers to the rucks so making sure that we secured the ball was a priority and we didn't really go throught quite enough phases to test that Samoan side.