The Manu Samoa Sevens team is home but this is no rest stop.
The team has already started their preparations for the big Hong Kong tournament just under 16 days away.
The team showed some promise in their last tournament by bringing home the Plate after beating U.S.A 31-19 in the finals.
Coach Damian McGrath said the road to the plate was not an easy one.
“Despite the problems we’ve had with injuries, illness and family tragedies which left us with 10 players it still turned out to be a really good tournament for us,” he said.
“I’m really happy with the outcome to have won the plate and to finish 5th, to me it was a big achievement. I think we’ve put in a little bit of consistency which we have been lacking in the past couple of legs.”
The team will be focusing on increasing their fitness levels as they aim for Hong Kong.
“We got 5 new players after the Marist 7’s so we’ll just work on raising fitness levels a little bit,” he said.
“A couple of players are missing due to family tragedy’s such as key players Belgium Tuitagaloa and Tila Mealoi so we won’t be doing anything too specific other than just a bit of ball and fitness work just to get everyone ready but on Wednesday we’ll start our tactical preparations.” The team won’t be introducing anymore new players to the squad but instead they will be focusing on developing the ones they have.
“We won’t be getting anymore new players at this point. We can’t keep chopping and changing because we’re looking for a settled formula,” McGrath said. “We keep getting hit by injuries and little issues but I’m happy with the little group of players that we have,”
“The team is a work in progress and I’m confident that these boys will mostly start playing with consistency then we’ll be a good team to go up against.” McGrath said.
When asked about their game plan Coach McGrath said they will not be changing much.
“We’re not a big team so we’ll do the same as the previous tournaments which is to let the ball do the work, we’ll try and make teams run about and defend hard,” he said.
“We’ve proven we can beat Fiji in Las Vegas and we can go toe to toe with the best teams but it’s our own little errors that cost us dearly, we’re working to eradicate those errors and make the ball do the work for us.” But the team is in need of Samoa’s patience and support.
“I hope patience doesn’t ware too thin and that the Samoan Public can see that we’re getting better little by little and I’m hoping this will be another step forward in Hong Kong and Singapore.”