10 Nov 2018

Sport: Manu Samoa predicting physical affair vs USA

3:50 pm on 10 November 2018

Manu Samoa are anticipating a bruising encounter in Saturday's November rugby tour opener against the United States.

Head coach Steve Jackson will take charge of the Manu for the first time in San Sebastian in Northern Spain.

The new Blues forwards coach Steve Jackson.

Manu Samoa coach Steve Jackson. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

An under-strength US side were thrashed 59-22 by the Māori All Blacks in Chicago last weekend.

But Jackson said the Eagles are a physical team that love the contact area.

"They're pretty direct in the way that they carry so defensively we need to be on-song," he said.

"I think (they will be) using the kicking game as well so again we'll be expecting some high balls....I'm pretty confident that we will do our homework and make sure that not only that we understand how we think they're going to play but it's pretty important that we understand how we want to play and make sure that we get our things right first and then hopefully that will take care of itself.

Samoa have only won two of their past 11 test matches - against European minnows Germany - and are ranked a lowly 16th in the world.

But they are undefeated in five internationals against the United States.