Samoan casualty count mounts

The Samoan World Cup campaign went from bad to worse on Sunday with confirmation that three more of their key players suffered serious injuries in their 22-44 pool loss to England at the weekend, a game that finally put paid to their play-off hopes.

Flank Daniel Leo broke his wrist, number eight Henry Tuilagi injured his shoulder and scrum-half Junior Polu suffered concussion.

“In the first two games we lost eight of our top line players,” coach Michael Jones said on Sunday.

“We have actually never played a game with our ‘A’ team. I don’t think we’ve ever had such a bad run of injuries, but that’s just the way it goes.”

However, despite the setbacks Jones is determined that his team would end their tournament on a high – when they face the United States in Saint Etienne on Wednesday.

“We still have a very important game to win and win well against the US and there’s a lot riding on that game,” Jones said.

“We didn’t finish the last World Cup well, we lost quite badly to the Springboks, and we have a chance to finish our tournament on a real high.

“We’re actually fighting to not be the wooden spooners, which for a proud country like ours … it means a lot for us to finish well.”

365 Digital

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