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Tamauli Rugby Club defied the odds and bad weather over the weekend and were crowned the first ever team from Samoa to win the Malisi Pacific Sevens.
Rainfall and bad weather couldn’t halt sevens fans and supporters from packing out the Manukau Rovers fields for the annual Malisi Pacific Sevens held in Auckland.
The tournament saw rugby clubs from New Zealand and the Pacific battle it out for the championship title. Defending champs ABBS Construction came in as hot favourites fielding a star studded side with the likes of former Manu Samoa sevens captain Tomasi Alosio and son of All Blacks legend Michael Jones, Niko Jones.
The stars were also present with teams that travelled from Samoa including Manu Samoa halfback Melani Matavao who featured for the Laumua o Tumua Rugby Club from Afega.
It was a tournament to remember though for Samoan local clubs who walked away with the three main prizes of the tournament. Vaimoso snuck away with the Bowl, Laumua o Tumua clinched the Plate final while Tamauli Rugby Club took away the main prize in the cup final.
Tamauli’s victory was a moment of redemption for their efforts last year, after losing in the semi finals to ABBS Construction. Fast forward a year later the two teams would go head to head only this time, Tamauli made sure to get the victory.
A stronghold club in the local sevens tournament back in Samoa, Tamauli never looked out of place throughout the whole tournament with a total of 7 games, 6 wins and one draw. Their win in the semi finals against ABBS Construction set them up in the final with Laulii NZ Rugby Club in which they won 12-5.
The tournament was also a chance to showcase the finest homegrown talent from the islands with the likes of Gasologa Pelenato, Apisaloma Aso and other local stars rubbing shoulders with the teams and players in New Zealand.
The Manu Samoa Sevens team recently qualified for the Olympics in Paris next year, and with the success of their local clubs across international tournaments such as Malisi Pacific, the future’s looking bright for what’s to come for Samoa sevens.