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Samoans Take On Challenge

  For some teams, this year’s World Rugby Sevens Series has taken on extra significance with one ultimate goal. That goal is to secure the 12th and final spot at
05 May 2016 12:13
Samoans Take On Challenge
samoa

 

For some teams, this year’s World Rugby Sevens Series has taken on extra significance with one ultimate goal. That goal is to secure the 12th and final spot at the Olympic Games as the team to qualify through the repechage in June.

For Samoa, Canada and Russia, they are the three core sides heading to Monaco as the teams likely to battle it out for victory in the 16-team tournament.

But possibly the favourites are Samoa.

Damian McGrath’s side won the Plate for a second time this season, while Canada lost in the Shield semi-finals and Russia won their third consecutive Shield.

“The whole year has been a build-up to that event (the Olympic repechage in June) and that event alone,” McGrath told World Rugby.

“I have gone on record saying I’m happy to lose every single leg of the series if we qualify for the Olympics.”

A victory over Fiji in their opening pool match for the second time this season, having done the same in Las Vegas, would have given them confidence, but their 26-21 win over New Zealand – their first since 2012 – has cemented them as favourites.

“We have been a slow burner this season, but we have got better as it has gone on. We have proven here in Singapore we can beat Fiji, we can beat New Zealand, we can beat anyone, we are not frightened of anyone,” McGrath said.

Again the Samoans are pooled with the Vodafone Fijian 7s in next weekend’s Paris tournament in France.

He continued: “Of course, if we have learnt anything in Singapore it is that anything is possible in sevens so no teams should be written off, and Samoa certainly won’t feel they are the favourites but the head coach is aware of what his side can do and what it will take to take a spot at the sport’s debut in Rio.”

Feedback:  leonec@fijisun.com.fj

 

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