Mission accomplished: Samoa qualifies for Rugby World Cup

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TRY TIME: Manu Samoa halfback, Melani Matavao

TRY TIME: Manu Samoa halfback, Melani Matavao (Photo: Misiona Simo)

The Manu Samoa has qualified for the Rugby World Cup (R.W.C.) in Japan next year.

The Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua-coached team defeated Germany, 42-28, in the second leg of their World Cup qualifier in Fritz-Grunebaum-Sportpark, Heidelberg, yesterday morning.

It was their second victory over Germany, having defeated them in Samoa last month, 66-15, to confirm their spot in pool D of the World Cup alongside Ireland, Scotland, Japan and Russia.

Speaking to the media in Germany, Coach Fuimaono was naturally elated.

“It wasn’t an easy game,” he said. 

“I thought it was a very tough game. 

We made things hard at times but then we expected Germany to come out a lot better in front of their fans and they did that today.”

Fuimaono admitted that his team is far from the finished product for the World Cup but he is mighty relieved they have accomplished their mission of qualifying.

“Our goal at the start of this campaign was to qualify for the World Cup and that’s been achieved now. 

“Today, Germany also tried to avenge their loss in Apia and like any other team, they also want to be in the World Cup. It was a tough game but I’m just happy with the win.”

The coach acknowledged the support from Samoa and Samoans all over the world. He thanked them for their prayers and well wishes.

Looking ahead though, Manu Samoa has a lot of work to do.

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont congratulated Samoa on his twitter account: “Congratulations to Samoa on Rugby World Cup 2019 qualification and a place in Pool A. Germany will be encouraged by a strong performance as they look ahead to November’s Repechage.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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