You couldn’t fault the effort from the Manu Samoa Sevens but the result on the scoreboard is what counts.
And when the final whistle was blown at full time, England had the edge, 12-5, to advance to the Cup semifinals of the Singapore Sevens.
At that point, the Manu Samoa Sevens players were out on their feet. They had given their all – much to the delight of their fans who’ve been wanting to see them empty the tank.
With this outing being only their third Cup quarterfinal appearance this season, they found the going tough against a very clinical England team.
But the loss wasn’t for the lack of trying and the men in blue certainly had to deal with a number of calls that went against them – the most critical one being the last minute decision to call back what was a certain match saving try.
The referee ruled that the ball had been knocked on when it appeared to have gone backwards. Before that, a pass was deemed forward when the replay clearly showed it wasn’t.
One can only imagine how things would be different if those calls went their way.
But they would learn from the experience.
In the first half, Samoa dominated possession but it was England who struck first through Tom Mitchell.
Having had all the ball, all England needed was a mistake and when Alamanda Motuga dropped the pill, Mitchell didn’t need a second invitation, 7-0.
Samoa fought valiantly but England’s defense held strong until some brilliant individual skills from Belgium Tuatagaloa put his team on the board.
Tuatagaloa collected his own chip kick having beaten England’s cover defense to score. The conversion was unsuccessful but Samoa was on the board, 7-5.
The second half was just as competitive as the first. And with the calls going against Samoa, Charlton Kerr scored England’s second try to extend their lead, 12-5.
The game could’ve been squared had the referee allowed the last minute try.
Alas it wasn’t to be.
England received the feed into the scrum and booted the ball to touch for dear life.
On day 1, Samoa secured a quarterfinal berth with wins over Argentina and Canada.