Samoa's new domestic rugby competition has been given the seal of approval after the Eels emerged as the inaugural Super 9 champions.
The Eels outclassed the Chiefs 38-17 in the final at Apia Park on Saturday following 11 weeks on competition.
The nine franchise teams replaced the 18 sub-unions in the old National Provincial Championship, which was found to lack quality, depth and resources, following a review by the Samoa Rugby Union.
Eels team manager Laifa Petersen said they found the new competition to be of a very high standard.
"It's a big step up and a big difference from the old tournament - the mindset of players and their mentalities is higher," he said.
"The past years were dominated by Apia Union but due to the changes of this tournament from NPC to Super 9 all teams have prepared well and all the players have lifted their mindset and the mentality of players."
Mr Petersen also felt the revamped competition would be a big boost to local players hoping to attain higher honours.
"It's a different level of playing as all the players were trying to secure a spot in the Manu Samoa sevens and also the fifteens," reflected Petersen.
"So in my opinion as I've seen the level of the Super 9 here in Samoa I'm sure the (Manu Samoa) coach Dickie Tafua will pick most of the local players in [the squad for] the end of year Northern Hemisphere tour.
"Because the level of competition in the Super 9 prepared good players from nine different teams, it lift up the level of their players and their mindset."
A Samoa 'A' squad selected from players in the Super 9 competition will also compete in the America's Pacific Challenge in Uruguay over the next fortnight.