The Apia Maroons women’s team claimed fourth place in the Vailima Pure Marist International Sevens tournament yesterday.
A’a’na Blues proved too good for the Apia Maroons, 37-5.
Regardless of the outcome, Apia Maroons Coach, Glenn Feaunati said the tournament has been a huge learning experience.
Mr. Feaunati, from the villages of Fasitoo and Taufusi, told the Sunday Samoan that basic mistakes and not sticking to their game plan cost them the game.
“The girls were a bit nervous today (yesterday), just nervous and butterflies in the stomach, the majority of them it’s their first time playing international 7’s level.”
“Yesterday (Friday) did not go too well since the captain of our team was injured so she would not be playing today (yesterday) and I told the girls this morning (yesterday) to keep their confidence up and play as a team, but it didn’t go our way,” he said.
As first timers to the tournament, he says they will return next year for more experience and exposure to the 7’s code.
He says their focus for this tourney is the fitness and skills of the players and getting them more exposure to the international level.
“Worked on their set pieces and their strengths, some of the girls have weaknesses in the forwards and in the backs so we have mixed it up,” he added.
Mr. Feaunati said half of the players had been playing together since 2015 and some of the girls had just joined last year.
There were only three newcomers to the team and he said it took them a while to understand the rules.
“The players range from ages 18 to 24 and the youngest is Luisa Metai, 16 years old. It is good to have young players in the team, she enjoys it and she asked me if she could play for the Apia Maroons and focus on their school,” said Glenn.
Being a male coach for a women’s team is very different compared to the men’s team, but Mr. Feaunati says understanding the boundaries is the way of removing that barrier.