Manusina are winners of the Oceania Women’s Championship after a 19-18 win over Fijiana.
In Manusina’s first match they took easy care of Tonga winning 69-5.
They followed that up with a convincing 83-0 thumping of Papua New Guinea.
This set up a winner takes all showdown with Fijiana for the Oceania Championship.
Samoa got the scoring underway by way of a penalty kick off the boot of Cassie Siataga, the tournament’s top points scorer.
The 3-point lead for Samoa would last until the half hour mark when Fijiana crossed over for their first try.
A Fijiana penalty following their try would extend the lead to 8-3 heading into halftime.
A first half lead by the Fijiana side was solely due to the huge amounts of possession they had. Samoa needed to hold on to the ball if they had any chance of coming back.
The brave Manusina side would do just that. The Mataafa Ramsey Tomokino coached side came out of halftime firing on all cylinders, and took only 3 minutes to cross the try line.
After attacking the Fijian line phase after phase, Cassie Siataga powered her way through to score a try and put Samoa ahead. Converting her own try extended the Manusina lead to 10-8.
Samoa would be their own achilles heel from kick-off after gifting Fiji the ball with an unforced handling error.
Fijiana would retake the lead after a good set piece maul rolled over to score.
Samoa would trail by 3 points which did not last long with Siataga securing two more penalty kicks to take back the lead by 16-13.
With just 2 minutes remaining, Fiji slid through the Manusina defense to score a try that looked to have ended it all. Fiji were celebrating as a missed conversion placed them 118-16 ahead of Samoa as the clock ticked down from 79 minutes.
With 10 seconds remaining, Fiji received the kick-off cleanly and would kick the ball into touch thinking the match was over.
Instead, Fiji gifted Samoa a lineout and an opportunity to steal the match and the Oceania Trophy.
Samoa would earn themselves a penalty off of the lineout and up stepped Cassie Siataga once again, to line up the match and tournament winning penalty kick.
Siataga, as cool as you like, slotted the penalty kick to give Samoa the Oceania Women’s Championship.
The win means Manusina XV will play in the World Rugby Tier 2 World Competition held in South Africa, while Fijiana play in the Tier 3 World XV Competition held in Hong Kong.
Manusina XV Management
Mataafa Ramsey Tomokino – Head Coach
Taala Cynthia Taala-Timaloa – forwards coach
Filoi Eneliko – Technical Advisor
Asiata Onehunga Mata’uiau – Technical Advisor
Levili Leilua – Strength and Conditioning
Muliagatele Niuafolau Bakulich-Leavasa – Physiotherapist
Papalii Puna Tia – Team Manager
Tauanu’u Nick Bakulich – Operations Manager.