31 Oct 2011

Sport: Samoa win Oceania Sevens

11:45 am on 31 October 2011

Samoa continued their build-up to the new world series by beating Fiji 19-7 in the final of the Oceania Sevens tournament on Sunday.

Coach Stephen Betham says the experience of veterans Lolo Lui and Uale Mai proved crucial in front of a vocal home crowd in Apia but it was also pleasing to be able to blood some more young players.

"Some of the new players we took to New Caledonia played today and they played really well. The conditions didn't help that much - there was a lot of rain, wet rugby today, but they showed a lot of skills and I was happy with their performance."

Tonga beat Australia 28-12 in the third place playoff to book a place at the Wellington and Hong Kong legs of the upcoming world series.

Cook Islands edged American Samoa for fifth place, which qualified them for another trip to Wellington.

Coach Ramsey Tokomino says while it wasn't everything they wanted, it was still a good result.

Otherwise again it's another 12 months in the wilderness before we can actually get there. It's really important for the Cook Islands, our community, that we are represented at these tournaments. Unfortunately we didn't get Hong Kong: we had a mixed bag on day one but we just had to keep resetting our goal and our first goal went and we went for our second goal, which was to at least secure Wellington, and we did that. It was a tough day at the office but we got there in the end.