Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Manu Samoa 7’s victory, a timely Christmas gift for Samoa

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air
Manu Samoa Sevens are the Cape Town 7s Cup Champions. Defeating New Zealand in the finals 12-7. Photo: World Rugby HSBC Sevens
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Neueli Mauafu | Reporter

After three gruelling days of HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series action in Cape Town, South Africa, Manu Samoa have finally claimed their first title since 2016.

Despite playing in horrendous conditions, Samoa clawed through a strong New Zealand side with a 12-7 victory. It was the perfect fairytale ending for the team, as they last reached a finals six years ago in Paris.

The boys in blue took an early lead in the match, as youngster Fa’afo’i Falaniko crossed for the opening try. The player from the Tepatasi Rugby Club had led his team to the final after slotting through a winning penalty kick in the semi final against South Africa.

The win means Samoa jump to a share of top spot with South Africa on the standings (47 points) after two events. Photo: World Rugby HSBC Sevens

New Zealand replied in the same manner, as blockbusting forward Brady Rush scored underneath the goalposts, giving New Zealand a two point lead with three minutes to spare.

With time running out, Samoa powered their way through the slippery conditions, as captain Va’a Apelu Maliko ran in for the match-winning try.

Maliko, who was also named player of the final, expressed how elated he was with their performance.

“We’d like to thank our family, friends and all the supporters back home for helping us get through this event, this win is for them.

Also proud of the effort was head coach Muliagatele Brian Lima. After taking over the team last year, Lima’s influence can be seen within the team’s results over the past year.

“Thank you Samoa! Everyone that has supported us from Samoa and across the world, this one’s for you. This is our Christmas gift for our country, and we hope that we have made you guys proud”.

Samoa’s win has boosted their ranking on the World Series ladder, as they now stand at first place with 47 points overall ahead of South Africa, USA and New Zealand. The World Series is done for the year, and will commence in Hamilton New Zealand on January 21.

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