Canada will be tough at home, says Coach
Manu Samoa 7s coach Sir Gordon Tietjens said his side should be wary of Canada going into their opening game of the Vancouver round of the World Rugby Sevens Series this morning.
Samoa play the tournament hosts at 7:58 am Samoan time, before their remaining Pool B games against Kenya (11:30 am) and Fiji (3:02 pm).
Tietjens said Canada always lift themselves in front of their home crowd.
“The support they get here in the indoor stadium is huge.
“They’re a big strong team, that can beat anyone on their day.”
Samoa and Canada also matched up in the Pool stage in Las Vegas last week, with the Manu winning 26-19 to book their place in the Cup quarterfinals.
Tietjens said they’ve put together a gameplan to beat them again.
“We’ve got to control possession, we have worked on that during the week.”
He said they way he wants his team to approach each game depends on both the players he selects, and their opponents.
“Every game is different.”
After their silver medal in Las Vegas, the Manu Samoa 7s are in seventh place on 49 points in the overall Series standings, with half of the 10 tournaments still to be played.
“I’m very, very happy with where we’re sitting at the moment,” said Tietjens.
“Everyone is scrapping for that fourth spot for the Olympic qualifier.”
The top four teams at the end of the Series avoid regional qualifiers and go straight to the 2020 Olympic sevens tournament.
Samoa are eight points behind sixth place Australia, and have an outside chance of catching England (68 points) and South Africa (67 points) in fourth and fifth.
Tietjens said anyone can beat anyone on any given day in sevens rugby.
“Two good or bad tournaments in a row send you way up or down.”
Samoa have Argentina (46 points) and Scotland (42 points) on their tail with Spain just 10 points back in 10th.