Manu Samoa Sevens coach, Sir Gordon Tietjens, was an interesting spectator at the 29th Vailima International Marist Sevens.
Tietjens was scouting for the best Samoan talent for his next mission which is the Las Vegas Sevens in the U.S.A.
Samoa is ranked a lowly 13th place in the H.S.B.C World Series.
The Las Vegas tournament will be Tietjen’s third tournament with the team as official head coach.
“At the moment, I’m finding my feet in terms of finding the players that can produce,” he said.
“What I’m really looking for is consistency in selection. Once I finally get the players together and I still have some players who are still trying to make the squad.
“I supposed once, I get consistent selections, the culture will come along a lot easier.”
Developing the team culture takes time, he said.
“From the first two tournaments, it takes quite long for a culture to grow and you actually need to make some changes to create that culture,” he said.
“In terms of the work ethic, the way they come together, and their fitness as well is coming along really, really well.”
So far so good, Tietjens said, although the results have been disappointing.
“For a lot of the players it was their first time in a World Series tournament and we grew as the tournament got on,” he said about Wellington and Sydney.
“We came out of that and I thought we improved and went on to Sydney as well.
“The camp in New Zealand was very good. They trained very, very hard and put a lot of work in and I suppose then it certainly was about creating the culture built on hard work and that’s coming.”
Now looking ahead to Las Vegas, Tietjens said one of the areas he will focus on is discipline.
“We’re losing games which is a concern and it comes down to one or two things.
“A disappointment in the those two tournaments was there were too many yellow cards which is certainly built around the lack of discipline.
“I think the players here in Samoa, just this last week they tested really well fitness wise and we want to build on that because it also builds on their performances.”
Poor discipline costs you in big games, he said.
“And it certainly cost us in three of the games and I think we learned from that. I’ve definitely seen enough improvement in Sydney that we can take to the next tournament.”
In Las Vegas, Samoa is pooled with Chile, U.S.A and England.