Samoa vs USA in Vegas Sevens final

By Thomas Airey 03 March 2019, 12:00AM

Samoa will play in their first Cup final since 2016 at the Las Vegas round of the World Rugby Sevens Series, having beaten Argentina 33-19 in the semifinal.

They will play USA in the gold medal game at 2:30 pm Samoa time, with the tournament hosts looking to break a streak of 2nd place finishes in every tournament this season to date.

The Manu Samoa 7s are looking for their third ever title at the Vegas tournament, having won in 2010 and 2012.

They kicked off against Argentina, and captain David Afamasaga set the tone with an immediate steal at the breakdown.

One phase later, he was running in the oppening try under the posts.

Winger Johnny Vaili made it 14-0 with four minutes left in the half, after an inside step made his marker miss out wide.

He then leapt high to secure the kickoff for Samoa, then the ball was shifted quickly with a pass that looked forward finding Tofatu Solia who scored the third try.

Argentina replied in the sixth minute with a forward-looking pass of their own setting up Francisco Ulloa.

The halftime score was 19-5, with Samoa’s efficiency on attack getting three them a try from each of their three visits to the Argentina 22.

Manu Samoa 7s furthered the lead in the second half, with substitute Siaosi Asofolau scoring after some nice passing and offloading right from kickoff.

The almost put it beyond doubt soon after when Vaili kicked deep down into the corner.

Joe Perez lead the race to the ball and made a desperate face-first dive but couldn’t get there before the ball went out.

He looked to have injured his nose quite badly, which may affect his performance in the final this afternoon.

An intercept from Alamanda Motuga gave him an easy breakaway try under the posts with two minutes left, and Samoa’s 28 point lead proved unassailable.

Consolation tries to Francisco Ulloa and Franco Florio as time expired couldn’t dampen the mood for Samoa, and the sizable contingent of fans at Sam Boyd Stadium.

Manu Samoa 7s coach Sir Gordon Tietjens said the win meant a lot.

“Just making the cup quarters was big for us.

“Lot of self belief came out of winning that quarterfinal.”

By Thomas Airey 03 March 2019, 12:00AM
Samoa Observer

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