18 Nov 2017

Sport: Manu Samoa seeks return to winning ways

1:01 pm on 18 November 2017

Manu Samoa insist the off-field dramas surrounding the Union's finances have not affected the players as they prepare to face Romania in Bucharest.

Last week Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, declared the Samoa Rugby Union was bankrupt and unable to pay players' wages or pay off their debts.

The SRU subsequently raised almost $US140,000 from a fundraising appeal but remains at odds with World Rugby over administrative issues.

On the field Samoa were beaten 44-38 by Scotland in their tour opener in Edinburgh and assistant coach Brian Lima said all their energies are focused on Romania.

"The players just focus on the team and even the management as well, we just focus what we want to do for the team and i think the players aren't affected by that, the other thing - that's the Union - but the players just came in and focused on what we want to do and focus for the job and they want to focus and die for the cause," he said.

"Just to put that thing behind their mind and to focus on the game and focus on preparation so we can do well in this campaign."

Samoa have lost all five tests in 2017 and have slipped one place below Romania to 16th in the world rankings.

Lima said the whole squad is eager to regain that winning feeling.

"They talk about it and something that we have to bring back to the team is it win. I think that's the first thing in their mind is to get out there and win again for Samoa."

"I think the bonding and the culture in the team off the field they really enjoy it and (have) unity so that's something that we need to put together this team and looking forward for this game against Romania, confident we can deliver and get a first win since last year," he said.

Samoa and Romania have played only once before, with the hosts prevailing 32-24 in Bucharest back in 1989.

Manu Samoa sevens assistant coach Muliagatele Brian Lima during his playing days.

Manu Samoa sevens assistant coach Muliagatele Brian Lima during his playing days. Photo: PHOTOSPORT