Manu Samoa have qualified for the Rugby World Cup in 2023 after a 37-15 win in its second qualifying match against Tonga in Hamilton this afternoon.
Samoa’s four tries were by Ed Fidow, Stacey Ili, Jonathan Taumateine and Kalolo Tuiloma who came off the bench in the second half. Off the reliable boot of Henry Taefu came four from four conversions and three penalties.
Fonokalafi & Tu’ipolotu went over for Tonga’s two tries; while Faiva added a penalty and one conversion. Ikale Tahi had both posession and territory in the second half but could not capitalise that into points, with unforced handling errors going against them.
The boys in blue have managed two consecutive wins over a valiant Tongan outfit in two weeks. Tonga only managed one try in last weekend’s 42-13 loss to the Manu at Mt Smart Stadium.
Samoa now join Pool D alongside Argentina, Japan, England and one more side who has yet to be confirmed from the Americas repechage tournament. Tonga will play the Cook Islands for the final spot for Oceania.
Mapusua Seilala Mapusua has succeeded in his first task since taking on the roll in an overhaul by Lakapi Samoa that has brought in local Samoan Head Coaches for both 15s and 7s.
Samoa and Tonga fans braved the rain to support their teams at Hamiltons FMG Stadium. After the match Captain Michael Alaalatoa thanked all Samoan fans for coming out to support the team, as well as the people of Samoa at home and around the globe.
“We play for all of you when we come out to take the field and we thank you all for your support,” said the Samoan captain whose father Vili Alaalatoa was a prop in Samoa’s 1991 Rugby World Cup squad.
The Samoan captain commended the Management and said the strong culture in the team was a key to success, but called for the opportunity to play more matches together as a team.
“Look what we’ve been able to do in just four weeks. We take the opportunities we get but we need more test matches,” said Alaalatoa.