Slow Start Disappoints Mapusua

Slow Start Disappoints Mapusua

“In the first half we had our hopes up. I thought we really had it. They kept it going in the second half and it was tough to keep up with their pace.”

Samoan halfback Jonathan Taumateine on the attack against Chile during their clash in the Rugby World Cup on September 16, 2023. Photo: Rugby World Cup.

Manu Samoa rugby coach Seilala Mapusua is going to review their Rugby World Cup match against Chile on Saturday.

Samoa won 43-10 but conceded an early try and only led 19-10 at halftime. They pulled away after the break with three tries from rolling mauls.

“A lot to take from that game and we’ll be reviewing it,” Mapusua told AP.

“Full credit to Chile, they really took it to us and put us under pressure.”

When asked on his halftime message to the players, Mapusua said: “Probably a few words 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 (in the second half).”

 

Samoa’s tries went to fullback Duncan Paia’aua right on the first-half buzzer. Blond-mulleted scrumhalf Jonathan Taumateine, flanker Fritz Lee and hooker Sama Malolo, twice, all dotted down in the second half.

Chile forced Samoa on the defensive for much of the first half, but Samoa grew into the game and put the squeeze on after halftime and Chile conceded 17 penalties.

But as it did in its World Cup debut against Japan last weekend, Los Condores scored the first try, a stunning team effort in the sixth minute finished by prop Matias Dittus.

“It’s tough to put in to words. It’s such an amazing feeling,” Chile captain Martin Sigren said.

“In the first half we had our hopes up. I thought we really had it. They kept it going in the second half and it was tough to keep up with their pace.”

 

Former Australia international Christian Leali’ifano started at flyhalf for Samoa and kicked 16 points, having top-scored for the Wallabies at the 2019 tournament.

Leali’ifano qualified for Samoa on ancestry and switched last year thanks to the international eligibility law change.

“It looks like all of Chile flew out for the game, which is great, it’s what you want,” Samoa prop Michael Ala’alatoa said. It probably caught us a little bit off guard at first.

Next for Samoa is Argentina on Saturday, September 23 (Fiji time), while Chile faces former champion England the next day.

 

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj

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