Manu Sevens coach happy with Oceania start

Manu Samoa Sevens coach, Sir Gordon Tietjens, is happy with Day One of the Oceania Sevens after a slow start in their first game against Papua New Guinea.

They were tied 7-7 at halftime, but kicked on to win 33-7 and 45-0 in their second game against Solomon Islands.

Tietjens said the first half against Papua New Guinea was a real battle.

“They got the ball for the first couple of minutes and it was quite draining on the guys. We had to play a lot better in the second half, and we certainly did that,” he said.

Skipper Tomasi Alosio said P.N.G. really pushed his team in defence, but they regrouped at halftime and came back stronger.

“[Afterwards] we went back to the hotel, spoke about it, and it was just about turning up with the right attitude for that second game.”

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Tietjens said there is a good feeling in the camp at the moment:

“We did what we needed to do.

“Good to see some of the new boys really standing out.

“I thought Kerisimasi [Savaiinaea] played particularly well, and is improving all the time.”

He also said it was really positive for Uaina Sione and Losilosivale Filipo to get their first international tries.

Samoa need to win Pool B to make the Olympic qualifying final on Saturday; a one-off clash, probably with Australia, for a sport at Tokyo 2020.

But skipper Tomasi Alosio said they can’t look to far ahead.

“We’ve got Tuvalu [next], and we’ll just take it one step at a time,” he said.

That game is at 4:18 pm Samoan time, followed by the Manu 7s’ final pool game at 8:42 against the Cook Islands.

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