Winning start for Manu Sevens
The Manu Samoa Sevens has gotten their Oceania Sevens campaign off to a winning start in Fiji.
The Stephen Betham coached team got past their first three opponents in wonderful fashion, winning all their games to guarantee a spot in the cup playoffs of the tournament today.
Captain Tila Mealoi was outstanding on day, leading the way and was closely followed by Siaosi Asofolau, Samoa Toloa and other senior players.
Up first was the Solomon Islands which Samoa had no problems knocking over, 52-0.
Cook Islands provided a bit more resistance but in the end, the Manu Samoa proved far too powerful winning 34-5.
It was the third and final game against Australia that was to provide a true picture of the quality of the side.
And in the first stanza, the game lived up to its billing. A brilliant piece of individual effort from Laaloi Leiua put Samoa on the scoreboard when he collected a chip kick and sprinted to the try line untouched, 5-0.
There were other try scoring opportunities wasted.
Australia hit back through Michael Adams just before the break to level the score, 5-5.
But it was Samoa in the second stanza.
First Francis Ieremia, then captain Tila Mealoi followed by Siaosi Asofolau who scored their fourth and final try for a resounding 24-5 win.
Betham would have been proud of his men’s efforts on the first day but he knows that today would be a lot tougher with Fiji posing a real threat.
Also watching closely was coach Gordon Tietjens who is in Fiji to support the team.
The Manusina Sevens on the other hand had a tough day, first losing to PNG, 10-28, then 5-28 to Fiji before ending the day with a 33-0 hammering in the hands of the Cook Islands.
The tournament continues today.