Samoa looks to improve in Sydney
The Sydney Sevens this weekend gives Samoa a chance to right the ship immediately, however it won’t be an easy task getting through another stacked pool.
Having finished second-to-last in Hamilton last weekend, the Manu Samoa 7s were drawn into Pool B with the 2nd, 3rd and 5th placed sides in the World Rugby Sevens Series standings.
Their first game on Saturday will be against France (2nd overall) at 4:03 pm Samoan time.
The French are one of the form teams on the Series having made it to the podium at the Cape Town and Hamilton legs.
They’ve also won their last four games against Samoa, and haven’t lost to Sir Gordon Tietjens’ side in over a year.
Argentina (5th overall) would present as easier opponents had they not so comprehensively defeated Samoa last weekend in Hamilton.
The Manu will try to avenge that 40-0 loss in their second game at 9:08 pm Samoan time.
While the Pumas have finished no worse than 7th in all three Series legs so far, Samoa can take some comfort in their 2019 record against them.
After losses in Cape Town and Sydney, the Manu reeled off four straight wins over them across the rest of that season.
Samoa’s greatest task may come on Sunday’s Day Two when they play South Africa (3rd overall) at 2:51 pm Samoan time.
The Blitzbokke disappointed with a 10th place finish in Hamilton, but opened the season as Dubai Sevens champions and Cape Town runners-up.
South Africa’s elite pedigree is also evident in their 2019 record against Samoa – seven wins and zero losses.
The Manu would likely require their first win over South Africa since June 2018 in order to win Pool B and advance to the semifinals.
Sydney’s competition format is the same as Hamilton’s last weekend, where only the pool winners advance in the competition while the minor placings are all decided by one-off playoffs.
Manu Samoa at Sydney Sevens (all Samoan time):
- France vs Samoa – Saturday 4:03 pm
- Argentina vs Samoa – Saturday 9:08 pm
- South Africa vs Samoa – Sunday 2:51 pm
- Finals – Sunday 7:20 pm to 11:56 pm