Win a Huge Sur­prise: Samoa

Fiji Sun - - Weather / Tv, Movie Guide - Source: World Rugby Feed­back: os­eab@fi­

Samoa won their first Cup of the 2015/16 World Rugby Sevens Se­ries 29-26 with a stun­ning sec­ond-half come­back against Fiji in Paris. And Samoa coach Damian McGrath said the win came as a huge sur­prise af­ter they were out­played by the Fi­jians 42-5 in pool play on Sun­day. Fiji dom­i­nated the open­ing 10 min­utes at a jam-packed Stade Jean Bouin, with tries from Isake Ka­toni­bau, Leone Nakarawa and a brace from Sere­maia Tuwai putting Ben Ryan’s side 21-0 up with half­time loom­ing close. Bel­gium Tu­ata­ga­loa clawed one back for Samoa, with the con­ver­sion from Tila Mealoi mak­ing it 26-7 to Fiji at the break. How­ever af­ter a rous­ing team talk from head coach Damian McGrath, Samoa be­gan to fight back in the sec­ond-half, with two tries from Mealoi clos­ing the gap to 26-17 with just over four min­utes re­main­ing. Siaosi Aso­fo­lau kept the mo­men­tum go­ing for Samoa and in the dy­ing sec­onds cap­tain Faalemiga Se­le­sele fin­ished off the match to give Samoa a his­toric win. It was Samoa’s first Cup win since Dubai in 2012 and gives them some se­ri­ous mo­men­tum head­ing into the Olympic repechage qual­i­fier in Monaco on June 18/19.

“It’s a huge sur­prise, espe­cially af­ter Fiji were so strong against us yes­ter­day. We wanted to get some pride back and we did that,” said McGrath.

“At half­time I said if we get the first score we can get back into this. Self be­lief is a huge thing, and they be­lieved in them­selves.”

De­spite the loss, Fiji have taken a huge step closer to se­cur­ing the 2015/16 se­ries ti­tle, lead­ing the stand­ings by 14 points ahead of South Africa with just one round left in Lon­don next week­end. Hosts France gave the crowds plenty to cheer about across the three days, win­ning the third place play­off against Ar­gentina, 26-17. Two tries from Vir­imi Vakatawa, who was named in 1the Dream Team for Paris, com­bined with scores from Julien Can­de­lon and Jean Bap­tiste Ma­zoue was too much for a spir­ited Ar­gentina side who looked dan­ger­ous all week­end.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Fiji

© PressReader. All rights reserved.