Wallaroos vs Manusina
Samoa’s capital Apia has warmed to the abundance of talent here for international rugby, after a huge PRC & PNC it is the woman’s time to shine.
A rugby match is always a tussle, with a spot on offer for the Rugby World Cup there is all of a sudden a lot more to play for. In contention is the best of Australia vs Samoa’s gun woman. The Wallarroos they are known as boast a super drilled side, the have 7 women that won the Sevens World Cup in Dubai this year, they also have a familiar name Giteau in their squad. Kristy is her name and her famous brother Matt is known world wide, now it is his sister’s turn to carve it up.
Watching the sides train shows 2 distinctive styles, the Aussies practice in a clinical manner, there is very little idle chatter and their coach runs a swift & ever moving training. Water and rehydration is at the forefront of everything too, last week these ladies were training in 0 degrees in Canberra, today it is 27 degrees on Apia Park. Samoa on the other hand train a bit more old school, there are less cones and drills, time is spent in huddles and stamping out the right way on the ground.
Australian head coach John Manenti said, “Samoa is so beautiful, everywhere we look and all the people we see are so nice, my challenge is to keep our mindset out of the lure of holiday mode”. He is right with his description as Samoa embraces you with tropical options, however after the 1hr plus gruelling session his woman are well aware they are here on a serious mission. They have a team that oozes experience with a dash of youth; their locks look like they are shooters from a national netball team and valuable aerial ball will be theirs. Out in the backs are a nippy looking bunch, in the centres is a blockbusting Ruan Simms & she will add the straightness to this explosive backline.
Samoa also has a blend of big and agile. Their vice captain looks like she will be impossible to stop and one would assume the forward battle will be a tactic them employ. In the number 9 jerseys are the 2 captains, this position is crucial in any match and this test will see a cracker contest for the pill. Amanda from Samoa has graced 2 world cup campaigns, her mountain of experience will be vital for Samoa’s aspirations and stopping her opposite Cheryl Soon will be numero uno on her to do list.
Both squads look calm and voice excitement about the test tomorrow, in the press conference little was given away in tactics, but a lot was given in mutual respect.
Manusina have been on a strict diet of six meals a day, 3 mains and 3 snacks, portions are smaller than normal and the fuel side of life is another new aspect for the local contingent. They have gelled well as a squad and with a heap of local/vocal support tomorrow afternoon they will fire all they have at the Wallaroos.
Kick-off is at 4PM Samoa time.