Tafuna Jets mentally & spiritually prepared
The Tafuna Jets team, who have been a part of American Samoa rugby from the beginning of this sport on island, is still going strong and is ready to come back and make their second appearance in the 2nd Annual TMO Marist Pago 7s Tournament, to chase the main prize of $10,000.00 along with the winning trophy and complimentary prizes.
Samoa News spoke to the Captain as well as Assistant Coach of the Jets, Tino Tapuaialupe on how his team has been preparing for the upcoming tournament which is two weeks from now.
Stating positively, he responded, “our team is ready and is still waiting for the tournament to arrive already. Our team is very eager to step onto the field and perform, to finish what we couldn’t finish last year.”
He explained, “I know for a fact that this year’s team is way different from the team last year. All our players going into this tournament are all new players, some of our old players moved onto play for teams like Marist and Avele, as well as Lalomalava, but our new sevens squad this year is well prepared and is patiently awaiting the beginning of the tournament.”
Tafuna is very serious about the competition this time, and they have already made the final cut for their team.
“We have twelve players already selected from the best of our knowledge, and our twelve are all young strong athletes,” stated Tapuaialupe. “The youngest of the twelve is seventeen years old, onto the oldest of our twelve who is 28 years of age. So the combination of players that we have right now is training to last throughout two days of nothing but hard out running and pounding until we see that trophy in our hands.”
He added, “our main goal this year is to build our players to be ready — physically, mentally and spiritually — so that when the time comes to play, all we have to do is win.”
Tapuaialupe said that the Tafuna Jets is one of the original teams of rugby in American Samoa. “As we all know, the Tafuna Jets team has been on island for a very long time. Even before I was born there was already a Tafuna Jets team, so growing up around the team and the previous players of this club, I grew to one goal, and that is to one day lead this team to victory, and now is that time.”
He concluded, “Our team survived and strived on our own. We tried to send some letters out to some of the local businesses for help for support, but we never managed to get a response. So everything that the Jets have right now, going into the tournament, was all founded in the hands of our village and supporters of our team which consists of village members and family members.”