16 Jun 2018

Sport:Tonga keen to run Samoa off their feet

2:07 pm on 16 June 2018

Tonga are backing themselves to outlast Manu Samoa over 80 minutes in this weekend's Pacific Nations Cup clash in Suva.

Both teams suffered narrow defeats against Georgia and Fiji last weekend, with the Polynesian rivals both left lamenting a lack of execution on attack.

'Ikale Tahi winger Cooper Vuna is back in the team after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Former Wallabies winger Cooper Vuna was unable to inspire Tonga to success at the Monaco Sevens.

Cooper Vuna returns for Tonga. Photo: World Rugby / Martin Seras Lima

He commentated the team's loss against Georgia and said they need to take their chances and run Samoa off their feet.

"With what we've trained throughout the week is trying to minimise our errors and all the opportunities that we do that we execute them," he said.

"The main focus again for this weekend is we want to move this Samoan team around. We want to get the ball moving and they're a big pack and they're a big bunch of players - just like us - but we think that we can move them around and expose them in areas that can turn into opportunities for us."

The 30 year-old Vuna is a dual Tonga international and also played two tests for the Wallabies.

He was forced to go back to a 9-5 job last year after being cut by the Worcester Warriors but was offered a lifeline by another English side, Bath, in January.

After a few months without a game he's jumping out of his skin to get back on the field.

"Obviously looking forward to getting out there to represent the country again and just to play some footy. It's been a while since playing...good to get back out there...I think it's more mind over matter I guess and I'm just wanting to get out there and play," he said.

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Photo: Bruce Southwick / Zoomfiji