Forwards defence key to Samoan demise
The Western Force is preparing for a “bloody” good display of running rugby when it clashes with Kagifa Samoa on Saturday.
In the first Global Rapid Rugby match to be played on the Australian east coast, prop Kieran Longbottom will lead the forward pack in applying targeted pressure to control the Samoan attack.
“They maul a lot, so for us, we need to take that apart. They use that as a weapon and we need to take that away from them,” Longbottom said.
“They have a great forwards play, they have got a lot of big boys and you can see that in the last period of playback at HBF Park where they kept on making metres, which then led to that pretty awesome try.
“If we let them get that momentum up and allow that to roll on then they will be very dangerous. The forwards need to stop that momentum and shut them down as soon as possible.”
Despite winning by 58-points in their last meeting in Perth, Samoa led the statistics for ball possession, general runs and scrum wins, and is expected to bring a much tougher and more polished game on Saturday.
“They got the fundamentals and everything going for them and they can all play bloody good footy,” Longbottom said.
“From what we have seen of Kagifa Samoa from their game against Fiji they looked like a completely different team to the team we played over here.
“It will be a really big test for us there because we can see the improvement they have had in one week, so it will be a real solid effort from our boys to come up on the weekend.”
The former Saracens players believes the new Global Rapid Rugby laws have the potential to “explode” and the experienced 33-year-old has been enjoying the faster game.
“It’s amazing, playing these new rules. The energy is there and there really is the ability for these new rules to go forward and really explode,” Longbottom said.
“Even as a prop I really like playing these new rules. It’s a lot of fun and it’s a lot of fun having to run the ball out of your own territory.”
Watch the game LIVE on Sat 15:30 AEST / 13:30 AWST, on SBS Viceland, SBS On Demand, Kayo Sports and on FOX Sports Aus (503).