Manu Sevens get into gear in N.Z.
The Manu Samoa Sevens is warming for the Wellington Sevens by taking part in some tournaments in New Zealand.
Yesterday under the name “Samoan Barbarians,“ the men in blue were unlucky to lose to Waikato, 26-14, in the Bay of Plenty Provincial Sevens Tournament.
Blake Park, Waikato started off the match being the first to put points on the board.
In fact they jumped to a 14- 0 lead.
Samoa finally struck back late in the first half looking to build momentum.
However, a yellow card to Samoa, left 6 men on the pitch and Waikato capitalised on the extra space scoring another try for a 21-7 lead at half time.
In the second half, Samoa attempted to mount a comeback and found space in the corner for a try. However, this would be the last try of the match as Samoa was unable to overcome the strong Waikato side finishing off with a final score of 26-14.
The Samoan Barbarians also overcame challenges from Wellington, Auckland and Bay of Plenty.
Yesterday’s tournament was the first under the direction of Sir Gordon Tietjens.
The Samoan Barbarians started of strong defeating Wellington with a final score of 21-12.
Then they took on the Auckland team which they completely annihilated with a final score of 26-0
Manu Samoa Sevens Manager, Ramsey Tomokino, said the tournament is all about building depths and players.
“It’s a balance of looking at new players mixed with experience,” he said.
“Those players not selected in the 14 will remain in the Mount as part of a training camp with final trials Tuesday and Wednesday to replicate Wellington as final trials.”
“A reduced squad of 16-18 will be named to participate in a final camp from 17th Jan to 24th Jan when we travel to Wellington. There is also the possibility of players being selected out of the New Zealand Nationals tournament that is being played the following weekend, where a couple of our players will be involved.”
This will ultimately lead up to the final 13 who will be participating in the HSBC Wellington leg January 28-29.
The Samoan community at Bay of Plenty is hosting the team for lunch today.
Official Roster for the Samoan Barbarian Team:
Alefosio Tapili, Lafaele Va’a, Tila Mealoi, Tomasi Alosio, Joe Perez, Ed Fidow, Pheonix Hunapo-Nofoa, Samoa Toloa, Malu Falaniko, Tofatu Solia, Greg Foe, Oneone Faafou, Francis Ieremia, Afa Aiono.
Non Playing Reserves:
Greg Lealofi, Laaloi Leilua, Tuga Mativa, Eti Slater, Gordon Langkilde