2012 PLATE WINNERS VAIMOSO COMING FOR THE TMO MARIST PAGO 7s CUP
Last year’s TMO Marist Pago 7’s Tournament Plate winners Vaimoso, are itching to get on the field to prove a point.
According to Assistant Coach Letiu Junior, they should have gone through to the Cup competition last year but costly mistakes and bad ball handling in the Cup quarterfinals against Vailele, saw Vailele advance to the semifinals, in a spectacular game filled with nail-biting suspense which went into overtime three times!
“We had no one to blame but ourselves,” said Letiu. “And this year, we have gone through the same moves and combinations to make sure they run smoothly, and worked on our ball handling skills to make sure there will be no more fumbling and turnovers.”
The team coached by Head Coach Iafeta Matautia has an impressive lineup of players who have just come back from international competitions.
They include four players from the Samoa ‘A’ team who recently returned from the Pacific Nations Cup Tournament held in Australia and New Zealand. Although they did not win the tourney, they recorded some impressive wins against strong oppositions in both countries.
Samoa ‘A’ captain Maselino Paulino, Aniseto Sio and John Sala are playing in the forwards while sprinter Aaron Atonio will be on the wing.
Head Coach Matautia said that they are still awaiting word from the national sevens team management if the players will be released to play for their clubs.
Matautia said that Manu Samoa Sevens wing Tulolo Tulolo who is a member of their club has been training with the squad and will be playing inside back if he gets the green light from the Samoa Rugby Union.
The coach said that other Manu Samoa Sevens players Faatoina Autagavaia and Meki Magele have family ties in their village and have informed him of their availability.
As of news time yesterday, efforts to contact national sevens coach Tausa Faamaoni Lalomilo for confirmation of the players’ release were unsuccessful.
According to Coach Matautia, it is the fitness level that he is trying to improve and making the combinations click.
“Anything can happen in sevens rugby,” the Vaimoso coach said. “For a counter attack to be successful, especially in the dying seconds of a game, players must be fit physically and mentally and they must know where and when to run.”
Matautia also commended the American Samoa Rugby Union on their efforts to develop the game in the Territory.
He pointed out that there was a great improvement in the performance of teams in the Territory, and that they had their hands full in the Plate final against a strong TMO Marist Pago team.
The Vaimoso coach also acknowledged their major sponsors Vailima Breweries, HJ Keil and Business System Ltd for their support.
“We came back with the Plate last year,” he said. “This year the boys are out to get the Cup and so are the other teams. Like I said, anything can happen in sevens rugby and the team that wants it the most will win.”