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Nat’l Under 19 team takes it all at Oceania qualifier

The American Samoa National Under 19 Football Team was victorious in Friday’s match against host country Australia, said Rep. Tapumanaia Galu Satele Jr. during the weekend session of the House. Samoa News received word early Saturday morning that American Samoa defeated Australia in a whopping 93-7 victory during the Oceania Federation of American Football qualifier held in Melbourne. Australia got their own only score towards the end of the game. Lt. Gov. Faoa A. Sunia is accompanying the team along with Samoa Bowl senior official Lealao Melila Purcell Jr. American Samoa’s win was confirmed late Saturday morning in a news release from the International Federation of American Football (IFAF), saying that “American Samoa showed their dominance at under 19 level with a comprehensive 93-7 victory over Australia to win the 2012 Oceania Bowl and qualify for the 2012 IFAF U19 World Championship.” It says that running back Faafouina Sitagata carried the ball 12 times for 107 yards and 3 touchdowns in the rout, while Nathaniel Tuamohelo had 99 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Wide receiver Elliot Peters had three catches, all in the end zone. During Saturday’s House session, Tapumanaia told his colleagues that he has received great news from our local team in Australia and “our team won victoriously” and this is great. “Congratulations to the team, who did very well,” he said and noted that this is despite the fact that the $50,000 funding request for the team is pending in the House. Hopefully, the House will soon receive from the Samoa Bowl Committee the expenditure report for the team, said Tapumanaia, who later told Samoa News that he is supportive of efforts to improve sports in the territory through funding but his only concern - as voiced last week in the House - is the fact that there are other pressing financial issues faced by the territory such as the financial crisis at LBJ Medical Center. The Togiola Administration had submitted for Fono approval a $100,000 appropriation bill with $50,000 to the Samoa Bowl Committee to cover the costs for participating in the Australia qualifier tournament and then compete this summer in the International Federation of American Football World Championship Tournament in Austin, Texas. The other $50,000 is earmarked for completing the Traditional Samoan ‘Faletele’ at Utulei Beach. The House committee, following a hearing last week, tabled the bill for now while awaiting expenditure reports from both the Samoa Bowl Committee as well as the Office of Samoan Affairs - the government agency that is overseeing the ‘Faletele’ project.