30 May, 2010

Manu Samoa 7's Team Win Final Sevens Leg and International Sevens Tournament

The magnificent double was achieved by the Manu Samoa Sevens at Murrayfield, Edinburgh, this morning, after thrashing Australia, 41-14, in the final. “Thank God and thank you for your support,” coach Stephan Betham said. “The world title is for Samoa, it’s for our people. I’m proud of the players but I’m especially grateful about the support from our people.” Pale Toelupe, who spoke on behalf of the team to the international media, said the tough wins over England and Australia in the final came on the back of doing the basics right.

After two periods of extra time against England in the semifinal, the team appeared physically drained at the beginning of the final.

But they soon picked themselves up and speedster Mikaele Pesamino scored a hatrick to help his team. Fautua Otto contributed a double with Uale Mai and Reupena Levasa chipping in with a try each.

The team played their hearts out. By the end of the final, they were just about out on their feet. Coach Betham huddled his team in the middle of the field as they sang a hymn “Samoa ala mai e fa’afetai” before they accepted their trophy.

They hoisted the Samoan flag as an appreciate Murrayfield crowd applauded their efforts. The most memorable aspect about the Scotland Sevens has to be the semifinal clash between Samoa and England.

Samoa beat England 15-12 with a drop goal penalty by captain Lolo Lui in the last seconds of extra time to win a heart-stopping semi-final match. Afa Aiono put the Samoans ahead against England but Tom Powell levelled after the break.

Mikaele Pesamino looked to have given the Samoans the win and the Series but Greg Barden scored to level it up. Ben Gollings missed the conversion and the game went into extra time.

As the tension mounted Lolo Lui missed with a long range drop goal and England withstood concerted Samoan pressure. Not until the last second of extra time did Samoa work a position where Lolo Lui was able to opt for a penalty drop goal, which he cooly slotted to land Samoa their ever World Series crown.

Earlier, Samoa put in a much better performance to beat South Africa 19-0 and put themselves one win away from a first World Series title. In the overall points table, Samoa finished with 164 points while New Zealand finished second with 149 points. Fiji finished third.

Source: Samoa Observer