Samoa frustrated by ill-discipline

Date published: June 22 2013

Samoa coach Stephen Betham was left frustrated by his side's indiscipline, but believed they could take positives moving forward.

Samoa coach Stephen Betham was left frustrated by his side's indiscipline, but believed they could take positives moving forward.

The 56-23 loss to South Africa was a disappointing end to a promising tournament for Samoa, following convincing victories over Scotland and Italy.

Saturday's match at Loftus saw Alesana Tuilagi shown a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on Jean De Villiers, whilst Logovi Mulipola was also sent to the sin-bin in an ill-disciplined performance.

Betham admitted there was no excuse for his side's petulance, whilst also underlining the continued lack of preparation time available to his squad before the tournament.

“We're pretty disappointed with the result. But again, rugby's like that. Everything is a learning curve. We'll take away some positives and what we need to work on and hopefully we can take that into the next campaign,” said Betham.

“We were frustrated – we didn't stick to our plans or our patterns. It's a learning curve for some of these boys but we have to work on it.

“We battled with the breakdown but we worked hard – some of the boys just got frustrated and when that happens they are hard to pin down. They don't of what they are supposed to do.

“Being frustrated is not an excuse though for ill-discipline. It's something that we have worked hard on to eliminate from our game. We were intimidated and we fought it.

“It's been a very important four weeks. It's something I should commend and thank the South African Rugby Union for giving us this chance.

“We only get the players one week before we start our campaign, coming from different countries with different patterns and systems and you only have four to five days to put them all on one page. I'm fortunate that they pick up fast and come through.

“Today, again, is a big disappointment but we're hoping to move forward and build for the Rugby World Cup.”

Samoa captain Paul Williams conceded that his side gave away too many penalties, whilst suggesting that perhaps referees had focused on Samoa's reputation in the build-up to the match.

“We spoke at half-time about our motivations leading into the game and how they were the same. We came out and played some good rugby, but the discipline was disappointing. It's hard for me to comment without having the chance to reflect and review, but some of those calls were a bit hard I think.

“Things happen off the ball in rugby and from what I saw of the footage, they looked quite soft.

“We came in with high hopes and aspirations. Their kick-chase game worked well and we were under pressure going backwards, which was an aspect of the game that put us under pressure.

“There's certainly been a history of questionable calls and a pre-conceived perception. We focused on discipline and I acknowledge that there were too many penalties today and it was something that let us down.

“We can't be too careful though – Test rugby is hard-fought battle. We need to work on managing the officials and their interpretations, learning those lessons early on and being able to adapt.”