|Photo Rugby Dump|
Californian powerhouse Samu Manoa produced a man-of-the-match performance for the Northampton Saints on Saturday as the Aviva Premiership leaders defeated the Harlequins in London. Played at a packed Twickenham Stadium with 82,000 supporters Northampton won a tight contest to retain its hold on the top of the table. At the midway point of the season only Bath is in touch with the Saints and the two clubs are well ahead of others. A key moment in the win was that of Manoa charging-down a Tim Swiel kick and being able to both regather it from the ground and offload to Welsh international George North who went over untouched.
In addition to setting up the Welsh international winger Manoa also scored himself. The Toulon bound back-rower or second-rower scored the opening try of the fixture for Northampton when he crossed from the back of a maul. It was his fifth try of the Aviva Premiership season after he scored a hat-trick v Sale and also crossed against London Welsh.
Capped ten times by the USA Manoa is set to play in hist first Rugby World Cup in 2015 when the USA compete in Pool B against Samoa, Scotland, South Africa and Japan. He is to then join his new club, Toulon whom he signed a four year contract with which will see him playing in France throughout the duration of the inter-World Cup years of 2015-2019.