Samoa will take on the US in the Pool B game of the 2015 Rugby World Cup at the Brighton Community Stadium on Sunday. Samoa's chances of making it to the quarter-final of the Rugby World Cup will depend on their results against the US, Japan and Scotland.
South Africa is expected to rule the roost and Scotland will be tough to beat. So Samoa would want to collect full points from their clash against the US.
On the other hand, the US have failed to shine against the better teams in the world. Not to forget, this is the biggest stage of the sport and they will surely want to make it count. They have a tough task ahead of them.
Earlier this year, US defeated Japan and Canada in the Pacific Nations Cup. That will certainly boost them up ahead of their first Rugby World Cup 2015 game against Samoa. US coach Mike Tolkin will be counting on Chris Wyles and Samu Manoa, latter being the star player of the team.
Meanwhile, Samoa have failed to qualify for the knockout stages in the last two decades. By looking at their group this year, they will surely be eyeing the quarter-finals of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. But they will also have to overcome the powers of the two-time World Cup champions South Africa and Scotland. The route to the knockout stage will not be easy but looking at the potential their squad has, they are likely to make it to the quarter-finals this time around.
Samoa coach Stephen Betham has made nine changes to the team that suffered a defeat in the hands of Fiji (39-29) in the Pacific Nations Cup final earlier this year. Lock Kane Thompson will be missing out on the game as he was sent off in that match. He was replaced by Joe Tekori.
"In the past we have often been our own worst enemies. On some days we can beat any side in the world and on another days we can lose our focus. When we played the All Blacks recently, we were nine out of 10. It is my job to make sure we don't go back to having off-days and scoring four out of 10," Betham told reporters at a press conference ahead of their clash against US on Sunday in Brighton.
Every time the two sides have made, Samoa got the better of US. Samoa have never lost their opening game of the Rugby World Cups in five out of the last six occasions.
Samoa: Nanai-Williams, K. Pisi, Perez, Lee-Lo, Tuilagi, T. Pisi, Fotuali'i, Taulafo, Avei, Perenise, Paulo, Tekori, Fa'asavalu, Lam, Treviranus (C).
Replacements: Afatia, Matu'u, Johnston, Levave, Faosiliva, Afemai, Stanley, Autagavaia.
US: Scully. Ngwenya, Kelly, Palamo, Wyles (C), MacGinty, Petri, Fry, Fenoglio Lamositele, Smith, Peterson, McFarland, Durutalo, Manoa.
Replacements: Thiel, Kilifi, Baumann, Dolan, Barrett, Suniula, Niua, Thompson.
Where to watch live:
Samoa vs USA is scheduled for a 12 pm BST (4:30 pm IST, 7 am ET) start. The Rugby World Cup Pool B match will not be shown live in India on TV.
Viewers in the UK can watch the match live on ITV1, with the live stream option on ITV Player.
Sky Sport will show the match live in New Zealand, while the action can also be watched via live streaming on Sky Go NZ.
Viewers in Australia can watch Samoa vs USA live on Fox Sports 2, with the live stream option on Foxtel Play.
Audience in South Africa can tune into SuperSport, while the live stream option is on SuperSport Live Video.
Fans in the US can watch the rugby World Cup opening match live on Universal Sports, while the big game can also be live streamed on Universal Sports Online.