The top two sides from last year’s Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship met again in the final match of the inaugural Asia Pacific Women's Rugby Championship at the weekend, but this time it was Samoa who came out on top, taking the title after a 15-12 victory against hosts Fiji in Lautoka.
The Manusina finished the tournament undefeated after beating Hong Kong 34-15 in their opening match.
On the occasion of her first test, Linda Fiafia opened the scoring against Fijiana at Churchill Park, but the home side struck back to level the scores at 5-all just before the interval.
Further tries from full-back Soteria Pulumu and number eight Nina Foaese, both of which went unconverted, saw the Manusina establish a 10-point lead in the second half and despite conceding another try the visitors held on to secure a narrow victory.
"We definitely didn't play well but we won ugly and we'll take the win and to come away with two wins has certainly exceeded all our expectations," said Manusina head coach Ramsey Tomokino.
With one eye on next November’s Oceania Women’s Championship, which doubles as a Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 qualifier, Tomokino was pleased to have the opportunity to blood 12 new caps, adding to the 23 players who made their international debut last November.
"We've got a good core now and we wanted to run everybody, we wanted to give everyone some game time," he added.
Neither of the results had any impact on the World Rugby Women's Rankings with Samoa still in 13th position, Hong Kong 21st and Fiji 26th.