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Samoa to get better, says coach Sir Gordon

  After a spirited performance during the Hamilton 7s, Samoan coach Sir Gordon Tietjens is confident of a good outing in Las Vegas and Vancouver. The Samoans bounced back from
16 Feb 2018 11:07
Samoa to get better, says coach Sir Gordon

 

After a spirited performance during the Hamilton 7s, Samoan coach Sir Gordon Tietjens is confident of a good outing in Las Vegas and Vancouver.

The Samoans bounced back from a first up loss to Kenya, beating USA and Canada to make the Cup quarter finals for only the second time this season. After losing at the death to Fiji they edged England 22-17 in extra-time before gaining revenge on Kenya 19-15 in the playoff for fifth place.

Tietjens said it was Samoa’s best performance in a long time.

“It was just really gutsy. We had a few injuries as well and a lot of these players playing under that sort of pressure and those sort of crowds is pretty new to some of them,” he told Radio New Zealand.

“It is tough but you can never take away the experience they gained over the weekend and of course it will only make them better players and, for me, it’s adding depth to Samoan sevens rugby.

“To be able to build some more depth because this game unfortunately is all about injuries now and the bodies take a battering.

“Of course you’ve got to have people that can step up and play at that level and this weekend was great for that to give some new players an opportunity to express themselves in a Samoan sevens jersey.”

Samoa climbed two spots to ninth in the World Series standings after four rounds and Tietjens said the players will approach the next tournament in Las Vegas in March with renewed confidence.

“They’ve gained a lot of self-belief in being able to compete with the best which was really pleasing.

“To really push Fiji to [be] leading with about seven seconds to go and lose it at the death and then to back that up with a really good performance against England and to finish it off with one against Kenya was really great>

“I like the short turnarounds because we can still get into some more work and it’s a massive year this year for sevens rugby – mainly due to Commonwealth Games later on and a Rugby World Cup in July as well. “We’ve just got to keep getting better and stronger and I’ve just identified the pool that we’re in (in Las Vegas) and it’s going to be another toughie. “I see that we’re drawing USA and Australia and of course Spain so no easy games in the World Series now so we’ve got to have a few days off and then back into our work.”

Edited  by  Grace Narayan

Feedback:  leonec@fijisun.com.fj

 



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