No more side steps, P.M. tells players at opening of Vailima Marist Sevens

Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Samoa Rugby Union, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, wants national Sevens players to stop all the tricky side steps.

Instead, he has told them to just charge forward. He made the point when he officially opened the Vailima 26th Marist Sevens in front of the Government building yesterday.

“I don’t know where you get those side step actions from - you are wasting five seconds with those moves,” he said.

He said Samoan players should learn from other countries.

“You look at those African players: when they have the ball they move forward without waiting.”

At the opening parade of the 26th Valima Marist Sevens tournament, he warned the players, “Stop doing those side steps moves.”

He said players should consider other moves before side stepping. “Like a horse that’s about to jump, remember there are other things that must be done first before jumping.”

A parade for the Vailima Marist Sevens started at nine o’clock yesterday morning from the Ministry of Police car park, heading towards the government building.

Tuilaepa officially opened the tournament, praising the role of the Marist Sevens in raising awareness for the code.

“This is the 26th year since this tournament was first held and it is also the main reason some famous players from overseas country, especially the All Blacks come to Samoa.

“Back in the day, the only thing we could do was just watch those players on video. However, by initiating and holding this annual tournament, we now come to understand that they are human beings just like us.

“They fall, suffer breathlessness, and cry out for help when a shoe treads on them at scrum time.”

He said that the only different thing those players possessed was courage. When they get to training, they do it with all honesty and commitment.

“Their coach and management don’t drink alcohol with their players when the tournament has started and they always change game plans when they know their current game plan is not working.”

“But fitness is what matters the most,” he said.

“Because it’s a must for any player to play throughout 80 minutes - not running in the beginning and toward the end of the game - they walk and hold their hips.”

“Selectors will also work on selecting the team for Samoa from this tournament.

“That means if you want to be one of those players selected you have to play well and give it all your best.”

He said that Samoa has more than forty clubs. “What is happening is that only three to four clubs are being used to select our national team from - no! we can’t select ten players from just one team.”


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