Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Fiji one step closer to quarterfinals spot as Samoa and Tonga take hard losses

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Neueli Mauafu | Reporter

It’s the third week of the Rugby World Cup and the surprises and upsets keep on rolling through.

After an impressive performance against Chile, Manu Samoa faced Argentina who had come from a week off after their loss to England. If Samoa were to pull of a victory it was guaranteed that Argentina would face elimination from the playoffs stage,

Tonga on the other hand were looking to scrape up their win of the tournament against strong opponents Scotland in their pool. The flying Fijians were on rest after a big win over Australia from the previous round.


In a match that was heavily affected by the rain, Argentina managed to sneak past a strong fightback from Samoa with a 19:10 win. Emiliano Boffelli scored 16 of the points for Argentina as he led his side to victory.

Samoa’s fightback was not helped with flyhalf Christian Lealiifano missing two kickable penalties which could’ve closed the points difference even more. A late try from substitute hooker Sama Malolo gave hope for Samoa but it was too little too late.

“We made many mistakes and did not adapt to the conditions’ ‘ Samoa head coach Vaovasamanaia Seilala Mapusua stated.

Tumua Manu gets tackled by Argentinian opponent. Photo: World Rugby

Team captain Chris Vui shared Mapusua’s thoughts and admitted to working on their errors for their next match.

“We’ve got some learnings to take and a six day turnaround for Japan” he said.


Still in the hunt for their first win of the tournament, Tonga failed to come on top losing to Scotland 45:!7.

Despite Scotland powering through for the majority of the match, Tonga showed glimpses of their potential through some amazing tries by Solomone Kata and captain Ben Tameifuna. Man of the match Van Der Merwe acknowledged Tonga for their performance.

“I don’t think I have ever been hit like that before,” Der Merwe said regarding the physicality of the match.

“It was pretty tough out there so credit to Tonga on the amazing performance”

Tonga vs Scotland at the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Photo: World Rugby

Captain Ben Tameifuna said that the result is a reflection of where his team are at.

“We can now see what it’s like to be at the top level so we just keep our heads down and keep chugging forward”.

Looking forward to their next match against defending champions South Africa, coach Toutai Kefu is anticipating a massive challenge.

“It is a massive challenge and you don’t play the Springboks that often so the boys will be up for that. We will keep punching away at it”.

Fiji a step closer to playoffs as Australia face second defeat against Wales.

The Flying fijians were on their rest week, after two convincing performances against Wales and Australia. 

Touted as a favourite to advance to the quarterfinals, Fiji’s chances for the playoffs was made even more favourable as Australia suffered their second defeat in the tournament to pool leaders Wales.

Fiji train in Lormont – RWC 2023. Photo: World Rugby

The loss was recorded as the worst ever defeat to Australia in world cup history after going down to Wales 40:6. The historic loss was viewed by many pundits as an embarrassment to Australian rugby.

“I don’t have much to say, embarrassed for the Aussie people. We were hoping to put a show on. It just wasn’t good enough. We’ve got to front back up for next week. This one hurts.” Australian captain David Porceki said.

Fiji, who have two more pool matches against Portugal and Georgia look most likely to finish at second place in their pool.

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