We are the champions!

By Sina Filifilia Seva’aetasi ,

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Savelio Ropati and Tavite Gadeisuva hoist the trophy for the 29th Vailima International Marist Sevens.

Savelio Ropati and Tavite Gadeisuva hoist the trophy for the 29th Vailima International Marist Sevens. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

TWO YEARS IN A ROW: They’ve done it again. Auckland Marist are returning to New Zealand with the Vailima Marist Sevens title. The G-Mana-sponsored team defeated Vaiala Ulalei, 14-5, during an epic final at Apia Park yesterday.

The final ended the Inaugural Marist International Sports Week, which was officially closed at Tanoa Tusitala Hotel last night. Here Savelio Ropati and Tavite Gadeisuva hoist the trophy for the 29th Vailima International Marist Sevens.

G-Mana Auckland Marist have done it again at the 29th Vailima Marist International Sevens.

Auckland Marist finished off the tournament in a thrilling final against B.B.E Vaiala Ulalei with a final score, 14-5.

It was déjà vu all over again as both teams were finalists in last year’s tournament.  Both teams fielded strong teams featuring a number of Samoa Sevens players.

Before kick off a standing ovation was carried out in honour of honorary member of the Marist Club, the late Tupua Fred Wetzell.

Once formalities were complete, it was time for battle. 

 It was an explosion on the pitch immediately after kick off as both teams were.

Marist, Alamanda Motuga, was the first to put points on the board after breaking through a number of Vaiala players to score the first try of the game.

The try was converted and Auckland Marist was in the lead by sevens points. Auckland Marist was able to retain their lead until half time.

Back from half time, Vaiala was desperate to put some points on the board.  However, mistakes in the critical areas of the game cost them several potential tries. 

Finally,  Blackie Lester Sefo was fable to break the dry spell after a scrum was awarded meters away from the try line. 

Vaiala looked cool and composed after they won the scrum and swung the ball from sideline to sideline waiting for the opportunity to strike.

Finally, Marists’ defence was slow to shift and Sefo took the space on the sideline and sprinted for dear life for the try line.

However the try was left unconverted leaving the scoreboard 5-7.

The time clock was dwinindling down to the final seconds of the game and both teams were looking for just one more try.

Then a line break from a Marist’ Luke Masirewa got his hand on the ball and broke the defense line.  

Siaosi Asofolau with a brutal tackle.
Siaosi Asofolau with a brutal tackle.
CHAMPIONS AGAIN: Head Coach, Kaino Kaino and the G-Mana Auckland Marist team with the cup.
CHAMPIONS AGAIN: Head Coach, Kaino Kaino and the G-Mana Auckland Marist team with the cup.
Salelologa finished off Saasai in the Bowl finals.
Salelologa finished off Saasai in the Bowl finals.
Cinderella team: Satalo made it to the cup finals after a great victory against S.O.S Stallions in the pool games.
Cinderella team: Satalo made it to the cup finals after a great victory against S.O.S Stallions in the pool games.
TRY TIME: Alamanda Motuga with the first try of the game
TRY TIME: Alamanda Motuga with the first try of the game
Pacific Ezy’s Daniel Ah Kau with rugby supporters and the cup.
Pacific Ezy’s Daniel Ah Kau with rugby supporters and the cup.
Mark Telea with a try saving tackle on Vaiala player,  Siaosi Asofolau.
Mark Telea with a try saving tackle on Vaiala player, Siaosi Asofolau.
BLACKIE YES: Capitan Alatasi Tupou with Angie and Masoe Wetzell with Siaosi Asofolau
BLACKIE YES: Capitan Alatasi Tupou with Angie and Masoe Wetzell with Siaosi Asofolau
VAILELE PLAYER: Fred Moke breaking out of a tackle from a Maroon
VAILELE PLAYER: Fred Moke breaking out of a tackle from a Maroon
Third and fourth: Moataa and M.S.J show the ultimate sportsmanship after a hard fought match.
Third and fourth: Moataa and M.S.J show the ultimate sportsmanship after a hard fought match.

Given the open space, Masirewa was able to flex his skills on the pitch and did a perfect kick and chase into the try line for the second try for Marist.

The try was converted leaving the scoreboard , 14-5. 

Immediately after Masirewa’s try,  the buzzer rang and cheers of joy were heard from the Marist side. 

The G-Mana Auckland Marist finished of their win in Marist spirit with a prayer and song. 

Head Coach Kaino Kaino said, “I would like to thank the Lord, the Heavenly father abover for making this a well deserved tournament and bringing us here . I want to thank him for everything he’s done for making us the champions again.” 

Capitan of G-Mana Auckland Marist Tavite Gadeisuva, walked away with the cup and $15,000 richer. 

Overall, it was a fantastic wrap of an amazing week of sports. 

Results

1st  G-Mana Auckland Marist 

2nd B.B.E Vaiala Ulalei

3rd Moataa 

4th Marist St. Joseph 

Plate: Samoa Finance Apia Maroons

Bowl: Salelologa 

Spoon: Taga 

M.V.P of the tournament: Elisapeta Lavaoa of Salelologa

© Samoa Observer 2016

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