Vodafone Fijiana 15s skipper Sereima Leweniqila says losing the Oceania Women’s Championship decider 19-18 to Samoa is both heartbreaking and disappointing as they could not execute an effective game plan.
Last night’s loss on the Gold Coast in Australia was Fijiana’s first defeat in the Championship since 2019 and now they will compete in WXV 3 alongside Ireland, Kazakhstan and Kenya in October.
“It’s quite heart-breaking. We’re disappointed, the girls are gutted but, in the end, the better team won and rugby won,” Leweniqila told World Rugby.
“It was a real battle, Samoa came out hard. We didn’t execute some moves but congratulations to Samoa for a great win.”
Manusina captain Sui Pauaraisa said she is proud and grateful to her players for hustling hard from the first whistle to the last minute.
“Honestly, I’m really speechless.”
“We knew that we were the underdogs, we knew we had nothing to lose.”
“We knew that Fiji was going to be our test throughout this whole tournament and that they were the champs from the Super W, and they beat us last year.”
Tonga also wrapped up a bonus-point 30-22 win against Papua New Guinea despite being reduced to 14 players for the final 14 minutes due to a red card.
The victory ensured Tonga finished the championship in third place.