The gloomy cloudy morning yesterday did not dampen the spirits of rugby and boxing athletes who had gathered for the opening parade of the Vailima Marist Sevens and boxing competition yesterday.
Whereas the Vailima Fight For Marist took place last night, the much-anticipated Sevens tournament kicks off tomorrow. Yesterday though was an opportunity for the teams to come together as friends before they became enemies on the field.
Led by the Police marching band and guest officials Anthony Moyes and Matthew O’Brien on scooters, the different teams marched through with matching uniforms and team banners.
A large crowd had gathered on the side of the road to encourage the players.
Satitoa rugby sevens team.
Once the teams gathered in front of the government building, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi addressed the teams.
“We really need players to be developed into jets,” he said. “We need people who move forward as soon as they get the ball.
“We don’t need people who get the ball and move sideways or just stand there.
“This game of Sevens is fast, if you waste one second then the whole play is wasted. What I mean by this is when you get the ball then start pumping your legs and only pass the ball when you see that you need to pass the ball.”
The P.M. continued with his rugby tips.
“If you run and you feel that there’s not enough petrol, then kick the ball and make the wing on the useless side chase the ball.
“It seems that no one knows how to do that. It’s as if you go to the games and leave your brains in your rooms. When the time comes for the games, put your brains in your head.”
The P.M. spoke about the importance of being confident.
“Another thing is that many of our boys have weak hearts. So please coaches, get rid of those players who have the heart of cowards.”
MARIST SEVENS PARADE: Led by guest officials
Anthony Moyes and Matthew O’Brien on scooters
are the teams for the Marist Sevens Tournament.
The P.M. also made reference to the national Manu Samoa Sevens team.
“Many times our boys lose the game before it starts because they get scared if a team like Fiji stands in front of them,” he said. “Even when we play against Africa with players who have small bodies, just one small hit and our big boys are down.”
The Marist Sevens is an opportunity to scout for new talent for the national Sevens team. Tuilaepa said all players should do their best so they can be noticed by the national coaches.
The Prime Minister also had some tips for local boxers.
“When you are given an opening then take it. Hit them with a right-cross, jump back then hook, after the hook you hit him with an uppercut. Throw them all at once,” he said.
“I don’t see that happening anymore. Nowadays, all I see is one hit then you run back and stand there tired… then you punch and miss then you go back again and pause.”
Vailima Breweries donated $50,000 to the Marist St. Joseph Sports Club for the tournament.