12 Dec 2015

Sport: Manu Samoa 7s team eying revenge against NZ

10:10 am on 12 December 2015

Samoa will have some added motivation when they come up against New Zealand tonight on day one of the Cape Town Sevens.

The Manu finished seventh at last week's season opening tournament in Dubai.

Head coach Damian McGrath was pleased to achieve their goal of reaching the quarter finals but says they were robbed of a a semi final spot when officials missed an off the ball incident, allowing New Zealand to snatch victory at the death.

Samoa men's sevens coach Damian McGrath.

Samoa men's sevens coach Damian McGrath. Photo: RNZI / Vinnie Wylie

The teams will have been drawn in the same pool in South Africa and Damian McGrath says Samoa are keen to even the ledger.

"They're undeniably one of the top dogs and it was a great confidence [boost] to the players that they played so well against them and pushed them so close last week and we have a sense of injustice in how we were beaten so that's an extra spur for us to perform when we play them".

Despite Samoa's preparations this week being affected by injuries, Damian McGrath is expecting plenty of improvement from his young squad.

"Everything that we did wrong last week is easily fixable. The games we lost we lost to our own mistakes and it's easier to put those right than fix things when you've been completely outplayed. We're working on our catching and passing, which really let us down last week. I was really pleased with our breakdown work and our general defence stuff so if we can be more consistent at the basics then we can be more consistent in the higher positions throughout the year".

Damian McGrath says New Zealand won't be the only stern test in their pool, with Canada no pushover and France unlucky to miss out on the quarters in Dubai despite losing only one game.

The captains strike a pose ahead of the Cape Town Sevens.

The captains strike a pose ahead of the Cape Town Sevens. Photo: World Rugby