15 Jun 2016

Sport: Samoa take learnings from Georgia draw

11:59 am on 15 June 2016

Manu Samoa are taking plenty of lessons on board from last weekend's 19-all draw against Georgia in Apia.

Patrick Fa'apale and Merab Kviriashvili both kicked 14 points as Samoa captain David Lemi and Georgia flanker Giorgi Tkhilaishvili crossed for the only tries of a tight affair at Apia Park.

A late drop goal attempt from the Europeans went wide to ensure Namulauulu Alama Ieremia's coaching reign did not start on a losing note.

Samoa captain David Lemi scored the only try for the home side.

Samoa captain David Lemi scored the only try for the home side. Photo: Renee McKay/SRU

Hooker Motu Matu'u said they went into the match feeling confident and it was disappointing not to come away with the win.

He said the team was trying to play more expansively than Samoan teams of the past.

"The management have really got stuck into their work and tried to upskill the majority of the local players and the players that have come from overseas about the way the rugby is played in the southern hemisphere," Matu'u said."

"That's all about a real fast, real high-tempo game and we've been working over that the last week or so so it's been pretty good for us," he said.

"Everybody knows Manu Samoa is a physical team but we've got to actually try and find different ways that we can actually become physical and also play a lot smarter as well, so I think with adding flair and the physicality together and trying to get an outcome out of that."

Samoa hooker Motu Motu'u on the burst against Georgia.

Samoa hooker Motu Motu'u on the burst against Georgia. Photo: Renee McKay/SRU

The home side fielded nine debutants but senior internationals like Tusi Pisi, Census Johnston and Faifili Levave have travelled to Suva this week and are expected to return against the Flying Fijians.

Motu Matu'u said they will need to be much better against their Pacific neighbours, who came from behind to beat Tonga 23-18 in the Pacific Nations Cup opener.

"I think if we really tidy up our set piece - get that right - everything else will kind of take care of itself. It's always been a working point for Samoa so it's really helped having guys like (forwards coach) Richard Watt and (set piece coach) Grant Henson in to help out with our set piece and having those experienced boys back in the team now it's going to go forward from there so really looking forward to it."

Motu Matu'u said Fiji have plenty of threats all over the park but Samoa are focusing on their game plan and what they want to achieve.

Local fans at the Manu Samoa v Georgia test at Apia Park.

Local fans at the Manu Samoa v Georgia test at Apia Park. Photo: Renee McKay/SRU

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