Samoa's interim 7's coach says weaknesses must be addressed
Interim coach says the Samoa sevens team has plenty of scope for improvement.
Samoa's interim rugby sevens coach, Fata'ali'i Milovale Moke, admits there is plenty of room for improvement following a horror year on the World Series.
The former national assistant coach will be in charge of the Manu at next month's Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea, after Fuimaono Titimaea Tafua's contract was not renewed.
Fata'ali'i has also applied for the job full-time and told Vinnie Wylie he has his work cut out for him.
FATA'ALI'I MILOVALE MOKE: There's a huge challenge in terms to trying to see all possible ways to lift the spirit of the team, motivate the players and also to have a look at some of the weaknesses we have noticed in previous games.
VINNIE WYLIE: Are you able to elaborate on those weaknesses?
FMM: What I've notice is there is lots of basic errors - we need to work on basic core elements of the game and also try and train and teach the boys of the game awareness. It's just a matter of coaching the boys in the right techniques and improving the fitness and the strength and also I think there is a need for some overseas players because that is the other thing that we lack of, the size of players that we find on the island. I think we
VW: For a couple of those World Series tournaments [last season], such as the Wellington event, the likes of Greg Foe and some of those other players who are based in New Zealand did turn out for the Manu - do you mean players like that?
FMM: Those kind of players because like Greg Foe has got experience and a flair with the game - he's got everything - but I'm not sure what the previous coach thought of those players.
VW: And you are coaching the team over at the Pacific Games in Port Moresby. Are you going to have a full-strength team, in terms of players that are available for the sevens series, to take over there or how strong is the team going to be - are you going to try and experiment with some new faces?
FMM: We're working on preparing a full-strength team in order to get a medal from the SPG [Pacific Games].
VW: Olympic qualification is a big focus now [for Samoa]. You want to join Fiji and New Zealand and most people are predicting it will be Samoa and Australia battling it out at that Oceania qualifier [in October] to get that final spot from the region. Are you likely to still be in charge of the team for that qualifier or will the permanent coach be in place by then?
FMM: Right now the [Pacific Games] is temporary. I think when we come back the Samoa Rugby Union is still doing process for finding a permanent and new coach to look after the team for the future.
VW: There were 29 names that put their name forward for that - were you one of them?
VW: So you've got your fingers crossed that something good happens next month and it might help your chances?
FMM: Oh yes, this would be another good chance to show the Samoa Rugby Union that I have raised my hand for the position as the permanent coach.
VW: There are some big names also: the likes of Waisale Serevi has applied and some other people that have had previous involvement - the likes of Faamoni Lalomilo and Uale Mai was a former player with the team for a number of years as well. Are you confident that whoever does get the job there will someone ready and capable to take charge of the team?
FMM: Oh yes. Right now there is so many big names in the application list and it is up to the union to make a decision as to who is going to take over the Manu Samoa sevens team.
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