The scene is set for a scorching finish when Samoa and Fiji face off in the final of the World Rugby Under 20 Trophy.
Both teams went undefeated through pool play in Romania to advance to the playoff for promotion to the top tier Championship.
Samoa Rugby’s General Manager of High Performance Zane Hilton has just returned from two weeks in camp with the Baby Manu and says their success has been built on a strong preparation.
“It’s a real credit to the strength and conditioning program that we’ve got from Simon Price, the trainer, that is put together here and led by Ashley Jones here, our head of physical preparation…The boys have really stood up and it hasn’t just been one or two players – it’s been the whole group collectively across the three games that have performed really well,” Zane Hilton said.
“The Namibian side that they played last they’re a good side and they were putting a lot of points on teams. To see the boys come out, start the game really well and then hold them in the middle period and then have the ability to really come home strong at the end of the game…(was) really really pleasing.”
Zane Hilton says it’s a fitting final against a classy Fiji team.
“There’s key things we’re going to have to do to be able to shut them down to be successful. We need to shut down that offload and win the collision area of the game for us to be able to be dominant. From a Baby Manu perspective, very similar to the Manu in fact, they play a very powerful style of game and then the speed of possession has allowed them to make the most of their opportunities off the back of it. Two different styles of teams: both are wanting to play a quick game however one does it very differently to the other,” said Zane Hilton.
Temperatures in Bucharest have hovered in the high 30s, with the final pushed back to 7pm local time on Sunday(4am Monday Fiji Time) in an effort to counter the heat.
(Source:Radio New Zealand)