Thriller as Marist St Josephs claim the Cup
Its was déjà vu as the two Cup finalists ran onto Apia Park yesterday for the main event of the 25th Valima Marist Samoa Sevens’
After going through undefeated in the quarterfinals and semifinals, Marist St. Joseph’s and BBE Vaiala Ulalei met once again in the finals of the two-day tournament. Last year it was Vaiala who after 24 years of trying finally took the Marist cup and were looking to make that two years in a row but the green machine had other plans and skillfully outplayed the defending champion, 24 to 14.
The first half was controlled by Marist with three tries in the full 10 minutes of the half to Leki Magela, Phillip Tuigamala and Etuale Pitone with two tries converted by Pitone. Vaiala seemed lost and had no reply to this tryfest making too many unforced errors. Halftime came and it was Marist leading 19 to Vaiala’s nil.
After a two-minute pep talk and with the knowledge that they must score first after half time Vaiala seemed to get their act together. A try to Oneone Fa’afou minutes into the second half buoyed the side and Patrick Fa’apale made no mistake with the conversion.
Minutes late, Lei’a Saofaiga bolted over for another Vaiala try, Fa’apale again slotted the Thriller as Marist St Josephs claim the Cup ball between the posts and it was game on.
Tension built and it seemed the game could go either way but in the end it was Marist who was hungrier for the win. In a finale thriller, Pati Tele crossed the Vaiala tryline seconds before full time and Vaiala’s fate was sealed. At full time it was Marist St. Joseph’s 24 BBE Vaiala Ulalei 14.
The crowd went wild with Marist supporters shouting and dancing while others were saying this was a fitting gift for the 25th Anniversary of the Marist Samoa Sevens’. Marist St. Joseph’s Captain and National Sevens’ rep, Afa Aiono was all smiles as he led his team forward for the presentation of the championship cup.
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