Hong Kong semi for Samoa 7s

Samoa are into the semifinals of the Hong Kong 7s after defeating England 14-12 in their Cup quarterfinal.

They’ll play France at 9:03 pm Samoan time, looking to make their second final of the 2019 World Rugby Sevens Series.

Forward Alamanda Motuga said it was a tough game, as they always are at the quarterfinal stage.

He said it means a lot to be in a Hong Kong 7s semifinal.

“Especially for our family back home in Samoa and all over the world.

“This is for them, for always sticking with us in the tough and good times.”

Motuga said his team’s form over the last few Series tournaments is because of their unity.

 “It just comes down to our teamwork, our self belief, we back each other on the field.”

Johnny Samuelu got the start at centre over Laaloi Leilua, while Tomasi Alosio was favoured at playmaker with Tila Mealoi coming off the bench.

Samoa got an early penalty for offside, and John Vaili scored after some good continuous possession, including a couple of tremendous carries from Tofatu Solia.

England replied from long range a couple of minutes later, with two offloads from Tom Bowen and Dan Bibby setting up a try for Harry Glover to pull them within two points.

The momentum started to swing England’s way with a few missed tackles for Samoa.

But Motuga wrested it back, making a huge breakdown cleanout to win the Manu 7s a crucial penalty.

Samoa came close to scoring, however conceded a penalty in the ruck to give England a final chance from a lineout.

They made the Manu pay, with Dan Norton scoring to give England a 12-7 lead at halftime.

The second half started poorly for Samoa, with Vaili putting his kickoff dead in goal and gifting the English a scrum on halfway.

But Solia won an outstanding turnover at a ruck, as both teams began to tire in the first few minutes of the half.

From a set-piece penalty tap 40 metres out, Samoa had four offloads in a row to give Mealoi what would be the game-winning try under the posts with three minutes left.

The Manu Samoa 7s held on through some strong desperate defence, causing a couple of England knock-ons to close out the game.

With a top four finish now guaranteed, Samoa will overtake Australia to go into sixth place in the overall Series standings at the end of the tournament.

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