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Samoa Tag gears up for Vodafone Teuila tournament

The Samoa Tag Incorporated is already suiting up for its annual series called the Vodafone Teuila Tag tournament, just a week after wrapping up its longest tournament yet, the Taula Tag Series.

The Vodafone Teuila Tag tournament is expected to see at least 24 local teams going head to head on the field beginning on October 3 at St. Joseph's College.

Due to the State of Emergency pandemic restrictions, overseas teams are not able to participate however, it is still interesting to see the local talents battle it out for the top spot, said Tag Incorporated President, Fa'aofonu'u JP Leota.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer on Thursday, he said Vodafone Teuila Tag was supposed to happen on the Teuila week but was postponed due to the ongoing Taula Tag Series.

"Due to the success from Taula Tag Series, more teams now want to take part of the upcoming tournament," he said.

Only one team has been confirmed to represent the big island of Savaii is Broncos from Fa'ala Palauli.

The previous Taula Tag Series was the first seven to eight week module Samoa Tag has ever hosted. A breath of fresh air from the usual one-day tournaments usually hosted by the Association.

Fa'aofonu'u said despite the sport only being introduced three years ago, he believes the sport has surpassed the development stage and the seven week series is proof.

Taula Tag Series a total of eight mixed teams and six men's teams vying for number one. Tau Warriors won the Series in the men's division, while Tau Samatau Samurai won the mixed champions title.

"This has always been in the plans of the Association, that instead of a one day tournament, the clubs are able to challenge different teams in different weeks," he said.

"That way it enables the coaches to actually strategise plans for the different teams on different weeks and it was a lot more effective this series because the coaches got to see what other clubs are doing and that way they figure out which players, plays to use in their game plan for the week and how they will attack on the field.

"The coaches really did their homework and studied their opposition as well and that's the whole point of Samoa Tag. We've gone past the development stage now [...]  the coaches now understand what it takes for the sport to grow and what it takes for their teams to understand the game of tag."

Reflecting on the seven week series, Faaofonuu said the players were noticably doing the extra work and commitment as well as video analysis on plays and players of opposing teams which led to the quick picking up of tactics of the sport.

"The development itself we are really happy because like I said it goes back to now we've ticked the box on having a seven week module allowing clubs to play every week and that's right direction for the Association," he added.

In saying that, Faaofonu'u thanked all the teams and respective managements who participated in the Association's first major sporting event since the coronavirus [COVID-19] lock down.

He acknowleged the Taula Tag Series major sponsor, Taula Breweries Ltd. and its General Manager, Enele Westerlund as well as Marketing Manager, Caroline Pereira and Sales representative, Alberto Schreiber for their ongoing support.

Fa'aofonuu also thanked the Apia Council for their permission to use the Malifa Primary School grounds as well as the Minister of Justice, Faaolesa Katopau Ainu'u for lending a hand into Series.

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