16 Jun 2018

Sport: Manu Samoa accept they must start winning

11:32 am on 16 June 2018

Manu Samoa are desperate to atone for recent performances when they take on Tonga in the Pacific Nations Cup this afternoon.

The Manu are on an eight test losing run and were beaten 30-26 by the 'Ikale Tahi when the teams last met in Nuku'alofa last year.

Samoa beat Tonga 30-10 in Apia during the 2016 Pacific Nations Cup.

Manu Samoa last beat Tonga in 2016. Photo: Renee McKay/SRU

That result effectively cost former coach Alama Ieremia his job and denied the team automatic qualification for the Rugby World Cup.

Last weekend Samoa rallied from a three try deficit to lose 24-22 against Fiji and assistant coach Zane Hilton said they need to start winning.

"There's no questioning the spirit and the desire and the passion to play for the country within this group. I think the reality is, though, the game we're in and the world we're in at the moment we have to start to get results so for us now there's nothing other than performing, get results and starting to win test matches and there's a real hunger within the group, driven by our head coach Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua, to make sure we get that," he said

Jack Lam scored as Samoa made a second half comeback.

Jack Lam scored as Samoa made a second half comeback. Photo: Facebook/Fiji Rugby

Zane Hilton was pleased with the way Samoa fought back in the second half against Fiji and says now the key is to perform for the full 80 minutes against Tonga.

"They are obviously playing some good rugby themselves - they were unlucky against Georgia on the weekend. For us they're going to pose a very different challenge than Fiji however we're just concentrating on getting our process right, however making sure that we don't beat ourselves and making sure the execution we bring to that game allows us to win a test match," he said.

Meanwhile Germany host Portugal in Heidelberg this weekend, with the winner to face Samoa in a home and away playoff for a spot at next year's World Cup in Japan.