Samoa’s Player of the Match – Always an Honour to Put on the Jersey

"It is always an honour to put on the jersey and to do it with the boys.. it is an honour.."

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17 September 2023 Rugby World Cup 2023 Source: World Rugby. Samoa’s player of the match and local hero from the Moamoa Roosters rugby club, Theodore McFarland says it is always an honour to put on the jersey for his nation’s rugby team.

Speaking at the post-match interview to receive the Mastercard Player of the Match award, Theodore McFarland said Samoa’s bonus point win over Chile for their first pool game of the 2023 Rugby World Cup was special.

“It is pretty special, I thought the first half we were a bit sloppy but second-half we showed up and happy to come away with a win.”

Samoa is the Home of Taula.
Theodore Mcfarland receiving Player of the Match, Samoa v Chile, Rugby World Cup 2023.

“It is always an honour to put on the jersey and to do it with the boys.. it is an honour,” Theo told the interviewer.

A double International for Samoa in both basketball and rugby, Theo’s interviewer said he was glad the athletic 6’6″ – 198m lock had chosen rugby over basketball.

Samoa started their Rugby World Cup 2023 journey with a five-try bonus point Pool D victory over Chile at Stade de Bordeaux on Saturday (early hours of Sunday morning Samoa time).

Despite outside-centre Ulupano Junior Seuteni receiving a yellow card and Chile prop Matias Dittus scoring a try, Samoa led 19-10 at half-time thanks to four penalties by former Australia fly-half Christian Leali’ifano and a try through full-back Duncan Paia’aua.

Samoa scored led 19-10 at the break and returned to score four second-half tries. Two via driving mauls from secured lineout balls, a backline try to Jonathan Taumateine off a Tumua Manu chip-n-chase and another driving maul try on the 80th minute.

Samoa captain Michael Alaalatoa said they knew Chile was going to come out firing and the first half was everything they had expected it to be.

“After the game last week, we saw how physical their forwards are, they lived up to that in the first half..

“You can see by the support here, it feels like all of Chile flew over, which is great, it’s what you want.

“They probably caught us a bit off-guard at first but it was great to get that try before half-time and get the momentum back our way.”

Chile head coach Pablo Lemoine said: “We expected a great game. We missed too many things but definitely Chilean rugby has changed. That’s something good.”

Samoa head coach Seilala Mapusua said: “Great to get our campaign under way. A lot to take from that game and we’ll be reviewing it. Full credit to Chile, they really took it to us today and put us under pressure and that’s exactly what we needed.”

When asked what inspired his team’s second-half performance, Mapusua added: “Probably a few words [at half-time] I can’t say on live TV, just about trusting our structures and our processes and finishing off our combinations, so it was good to see the boys come out and do that.”


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