6 Feb 2014

Sport: Samoa hoping to maintain progress at Wellington 7s

11:47 am on 6 February 2014

Samoa is targeting another top four finish at this weekend's Wellington Sevens after finally achieving some consistency on the World Series.

Head coach Viliamu Punivalu watched his 12-man squad train together for the first time on Wednesday, following the late inclusions of Lole Tualaulelei and Patrick Faapale, who replaced the injured Tom Iosefo and suspended Sani Niue.

After a horror start to the season, Punivalu has noticed a lift in performance during top four finishes in South Africa and the USA.

And he says progress is being made.

"When i got the job I said I was going to develop a new team and I've been doing that. We have six new players, and also six new players for Wellington, so it's all learning for the players and they can only get better at playing at this level. They finally stepped up in South Africa and Vegas to reach the semi finals and hopefully we can step up again this weekend."

Viliamu Punivalu says he has spoken with referees boss Paddy O'Brien after his team was heavily penalised at the breakdown in Las Vegas.

Samoa play Kenya first up on Friday.