26 Jun 2018

Sport: PM attacks 'gutless' Manu Samoa

12:14 pm on 26 June 2018

The Samoan prime minister, who is also the chair of the Samoa Rugby Union, says he verbally ripped into Manu Samoa players after two losses in the Pacific Nations Cup (PNC).

The Prime Minister of Samoa and Chair of the Samoan Rugby Union, Tuilaepa Fatialofa Aiono Neioti Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi.

Photo: Photosport Ltd 2014

Following defeats by Fiji and Tonga, Samoa has now lost nine Test matches in a row leading into this weekend's first leg of a World Cup qualifying playoff against Germany.

The Samoa Observer reported the prime minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, telling parliament that he met the team last week and told them they had "no guts".

"I said, if you don't win this game then you all have to resign from the team," he said

Manu Samoa coach Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua said his players lacked commitment in the PNC but he said the results were not important.

"It's very good for us, for our preparations to have those two games before we have this game with Germany," Fuimaono said.

"Our boys played well in the first game and when it comes to the second game against Tonga they're not committed," he said.

"The result is not very important to us. The only good thing to us it that we had opportunity to play, to have a game before this most important game."

Samoa rotated its players during the two round tournament in Suva in preparation for the playoff.

The coach said he was aware victory over Germany was crucial.

Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua.

Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"We gave each player a chance to play. It's a very good opportunity for us to select a good team for this very important game" Fuimaono said.

"At the moment our country wants a win. That's what we want to give to our people. We want to win."

Armed with video footage of Germany, the Manu coach said he was prepared to meet Germany in the first leg in Apia on Saturday before the return leg in Germany on July 14.

But Samoa will be without two experienced midfielders for at least the first leg.

Fuimaono said Cardiff Blues centre Reynold Lee-Lo had been banned for six weeks for a late, high shot during the PNC.

Bristol Bears centre Alapati Leiua would also be unavailable for the Apia match because of family commitments, he said.

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