Samoa vows a showdown
Samoan stalwart Seilala Mapusua has vowed his side will throw everything at the Springboks on Friday after winning the battle of the islands at the weekend to keep their World Cup quarterfinals hopes alive.
After missing a couple of early chances, Samoa went back to their prudent ways to gain a crucial win over Fiji. Sadly, the Polynesia spectacular didn’t eventuate in front of 60,327 at Eden Park, continuing a trend at this tournament that has seen the island flair strangely stagnant.
The Samoans were delighted to get the victory but admitted disappointment at not being able to get a bonus point which may prove crucial, either to make the playoffs or to nail third place in Pool D for automatic qualification for the next World Cup.
Mapusua said the intent had been to play more rugby against Fiji and felt that would be the only way Samoa could hope to beat the world champion Springboks.
‘‘I think we need to go all out and really move the ball around and try and get as far away from structure rugby as possible,’’ he said of how Samoa could upset the Springboks.
‘‘South Africa are very clinical at the set piece and also at building pressure. They have a goalkicker who will slot it from anywhere. We need to break it up a bit I think.’’
Mapusua said the lead-up win against Australia two months ago remained the benchmark for this side and they would need something similar to survive beyond Friday’s final pool match.