Bronze for Manu Samoa in London, Olympics chances remain
Manu Samoa 7s finished with a bronze medal at the London leg of the World Sevens Series with an exciting 24-19 win over series champions New Zealand.
Despite the third place finish, Samoa failed to grab the last automatic spot for the Olympics Games as Australia snatched it with a seventh place finish by beating Great Britain.
However the team which had to call in at least seven players for the last two legs has found a star in the making. Local lad 18-year-old Malakesi Masefau stamped his mark in the final match with a brace of tries and showed that Samoa still a lot to offer.
Coach Muliagatele Brian Lima said it was disappointing that they missed out on the Olympic qualification but was very proud of the boys.
It is not all lost for Samoa. Muliagatele and the boys go back to the drawing board as they have a final chance through the Oceania qualification round.
It was New Zealand that scored two tries to take a 14-0 lead. The youngster, Masefau responded with a try just before half time and then another at the start of the second half taking the scores to 14-12.
Then it was a Melani Matavao special that gave Samoa a 19-14 lead.
New Zealand hit back to level the scores at 19-19. With hooter already sounding, Samoa overturned a Kiwi possession inside their own 22 to have Taunuu Niulevaea sprint 60 metres to finish off with a dive giving Samoa the win.
Earlier Samoa lost their semi-final match to Argentina 10-7 to go into the third place play-off while New Zealand lost 19-17 to Fiji.
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