28 Aug 2012

Sport: Tongan coach proud of 7s efforts despite setbacks

10:37 am on 28 August 2012

Tongan sevens coach Manu Vunipola says he's proud of the obstacles his team has overcome to qualify for next years sevens world cup.

Tonga beat Cook Islands in the third place match at the Oceania Sevens on Sunday to confirm their place at next year's tournament in Moscow.

Their finish in Sydney also guaranteed entry into the Gold Coast, Wellington and Hong Kong legs of the upcoming World Series.

Manu Vunipola took the charge of the team after the sudden death of Otenili Piseleti, who was to have coached the team at the tournament, and says the result was for him.

"Everyone had a chat and a memory about what happened back in Tonga. Not only that, we had two players they didn't come with visa problems - and one of them was my playmaker. On our first day here the boys were not playing very well. We sat down the whole night talking about what we were going to do and on the second day we made it."

Manu Vunipola says it will up to the Tonga Rugby Board to decide who will coach the team at the World Cup and World Series tournaments.