Game of two halves sees Manu Samoa 7s progress to semifinal
Manu Samoa 7s took their foot off the gas in the second half of their 19-12 Oceania Sevens Championship quarterfinal win over the Cook Islands.
The first half was classic Gordon Tietjens sevens rugby.
Samoa’s coach had his side kick long and camp out in Cook Islands’ territory, with their power and skill at the breakdown giving Manu Samoa 7s total control of the game.
Two early team tries to and a sharp solo effort close to the line from half Danny Tusitala had them sitting pretty with a 19-0 halftime lead.
But whether it was fitness, a mental lapse, or just good rugby from the Cook Islands, it all flipped in the second half.
What had been breakdown turnovers for Samoa became penalties for the Cooks, and they took advantage of the much needed field position, scoring two unanswered tries.
Manu Samoa 7s held on to win because of their efficiency on attack, but they’ll need more than that against the heavy hitters remaining in the tournament.
They play Fiji in the semifinal at around 4:33 pm local time, hoping to make the final against Australia or New Zealand.