Manu Sevens finishes with silver
The Manu Samoa 7s side had to settle for silver after losing to Fiji, 5-7, at the XVI Pacific Games rugby 7s competition on Saturday at Marist Lotopa
But the Sir Gordon Tietjens coached side did not disappoint a packed Marist grounds in Lotopa with their strong defense and big tackles that got the crowd on their feet.
Fiji scored the first try of the match to Napoliono Ratu, who also converted his try, taking Fiji to a 7-0 lead.
Manu Samoa scored the second try of the match in the first half to John Vaili, who broke a strong Fijian defense to open their scoreboard with a five points.
Both teams got the crowd into loud cheers with their strong defense in the second half sealing the points at 7-5 at full time.
Tietjens said the team had to put in a lot of effort in their final pool play against Tuvalu to reach the final after a draw with Tonga on Friday.
“We had to score 84 points to get into the finals today (yesterday) to play Fiji,” he said.
“And my guys stood up for their game today. Loosing Solia was a big thing for us, we lost him yesterday (Friday) by a big forward, so we put a couple of young boys in there and they proved themselves very well.
“I think it was a game of bruising defense both teams made some really big tackles. It was a good game, it was a one way traffic, we had a chance when they had six men and you got to take those opportunities when you’ve get those chances, and when you don’t take them you pay for that.”
Tietjens also acknowledged the vision of the Fiji 7s side when they become desperate for the ball.
“What impresses me about Fiji also is that when they get desperate, their decision making is really good around the ruck, they decide to counter, they put pressure on you and sometimes they turn the ball over,” he said.
“So we’ve got to get better on that and that will come with time through the younger boys getting more experienced.”