Accuracy demanded for Cape Town assignment

By Sina Sevaaetasi ,

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Leading by example: Captain Tila Mealoi putting his body on the line for the tackle in Dubai.

Leading by example: Captain Tila Mealoi putting his body on the line for the tackle in Dubai. (Photo: AP)

“The mind set is to take one step better than we did last week and keep moving forward.”

That’s the order for the Manu Samoa Sevens this week, according to Head Coach, Stephen Betham.

He said the team is ready to advance their cause at the H.S.B.C World Series in Cape Town, South Africa this weekend.   

 The pools have been drawn and Samoa is pooled with Scotland ( Local time:  Sat. 10.15 PM), Wales (Sun. 1.58 AM)  and Uganda ( Sun 4.57AM) .   

Betham shared the lessons learned  in Dubai and  how they will be implemented this week.

He said spurts of great game play is not enough in sevens.  With only 14 minutes of play, the Manu need to utilize every minute on the pitch.  

 “I think we showed in glimpses that if we have ball in hand we can be very dangerous on attack but we are still lacking accuracy in small things like the final catch and pass that might give us a try but we are dropping them and these are defying moments of a game.”

One player who had an outstanding performance in Dubai was try scoring machine, Ed Fidow. 

Fidow proved to be instrumental on the team and a strong finisher in the dwindling few but crucial minutes of the match.    

Fidow is now in the top three for the most tries scored in the tournament.  

Despite being deadly with ball in hand, Betham knows there is more work to be done for the men in blue.  “On attack we need to be a bit more accurate at our decision making not to be in two minds which cause us to throw 50/50 passes which cause turn over and also force the final pass which puts another team member under pressure who is probably in a worse position than the ball carrier. 

“On defense we need to communicate on connecting the middle of the defense line as we were exposed a couple of times on third and fourth phase ball,” Betham told the Samoa Observer. 

Now, the team is looking to redeem themselves in Cape Town this weekend. 

“Everything which we didn’t do well we will try and rectify this week and also put a full 14 minute performance together not just play well in patches,” he said.

“This week we will try our best to be a bit more accurate at we do under pressure either it be on attack or defense.”

Betham will continue to Cape Town with the same thirteen players.  

Aside from a few bumps and knocks, Betham has assured the Observer that there are no major injuries.

“We are also trying to get the best possible combinations for this group we have now,” Betham said.

The team:  1 Francis Ieremia, 2 Gordon Langkilde, 3 Lester Sefo, 4 Lafaele Va’a, 5 Lio Lolo, 6 Alamanda Motuga, 7 Alatasi Tupou, 8 Siaosi Asofolau, 9 Ed Fidow, 10 Tila Mealoi , 11 Phoenix Hunapo-Nofoa, 12 Samoa Toloa, 13 Alefosio Tapili

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