22 Jun 2013

Sport: Manu Samoa ready for ultimate test

10:27 am on 22 June 2013

Samoa rugby coach Stephen Betham says after earning the right to face South Africa in tomorrow morning's quadrangular-series final, it's up to his players to step up and take the opportunity.

The Manu qualified for the tournament decider following wins over Six Nations regulars Scotland and Italy.

Stephen Betham says the team is making good progress but the Springboks will provide their biggest test yet.

"The boys have turned up and come through some tough tests. It's a golden opportunity that we have to take on and we just have to make the best of it. We're heading into this match not looking at what South Africa does well and that but what we need to do in order to conquer South Africa. Sometimes we're our own worst enemies - we haven't really stuck a full eighty minute performance yet and hopefully we can do that this weekend."

Stephen Betham says a number of new faces have been introduced to test rugby over the past fortnight, including Hurricanes duo Alapati Leiua and Jack Lam.

He adds it's good to have options.

We talked about it last year about creating depth for positions, in the northern hemisphere tour, we are missing probably five from the starting backline there and a number 7 but we have put players there from this particular tournament and they've really shown their depth in those positions. It is something that we are happy and moving forward and that sort of respect, and we are also conscious of the handwork we put into getting into seventh place and we know we have to work even harder to just stay here.

He also says they've paid particular attention to their set-pieces during the week.

We know that the Springboxs will come hard at us at the set pieces, the line-outs, how to combat the rolling mauls are all the aspects we are looking at this week, we worked hard at it and spoke about it to the players is that all we can do now is go out there, enjoy it, and do the best we can.

The Springboks have won all seven matches against Samoa dating back to 1995.