21 Mar 2016

Sport: Pacific Challenge champion to be decided

11:56 am on 21 March 2016

Fiji Warriors will be gunning for a sixth Pacific Challenge rugby title when they take on Samoa A in tonight's final in Suva.

The hosts were convincing 34-6 winners when the traditional rivals met in pool play two weeks ago and have racked up 134 points across their three matches so far.

But Samoa A bounced back have also been impressive in big wins against Tonga A and Junior Japan.

Team Manager and SRU Director of Coaching Alama Ieremia said these players are an important

part of Samoan rugby's ongoing development.

"We're at the crossroads now of getting our act sorted and making sure that we're headed in the right direction and development of our local talent, and how that comes through the programmes and onto the international stage, is very important. We needed a very good look at our international programme and now hopefully we're starting from a clean slate moving forward into this years test matches and the next few years, obviouslty with the mindset of trying to qualify for the World Cup so that's very important in our strategic planning."

Meanwhile Fiji will have the service of winger Lepani Raiyala, who was sent off in the win against Tonga A last week for punching Sione Lolohea, but managed to have that rulling overturned at the judiciary.

Tonga A and Junior Japan will clash in the earlier playoff for third.

The captains pose with the World Rugby Pacific Challenge Trophy.

The captains pose with the World Rugby Pacific Challenge Trophy. Photo: Fiji Rugby