Clean Sweep: Samoa Touch Edge Out PNG to Win Gold in Open Mixed Division


The Samoa Touch Federation continued its winning streak at this afternoon’s Open Mixed Division final, edging out Papua New Guinea 7-6 in an epic final at the Pacific Games in Solomon Islands.

Samoa’s Mixed Open Touch team receiving their Gold Medals, SI, 2023 Pacific Games.

Two days ago Samoa secured a double gold in the men’s and women’s open divisions for touch rugby, defeating defending champions Papua New Guinea in incredibly close finals.

The Women’s Open team edged out their Pacific rivals by 9-8 in a drop-off while the Men’s Open final was also a nail biting 6-5 against PNG.

The Mixed Team decision, Coached by Tauili’ili Lerissa Fong, had advanced straight to the semifinals after pool games. Samoa proved too good for Cook Is taking the semifinals by 11-4.

The final was another epic performance with Samoa down 6-5 to PNG with minutes to go in the second half.

An emotional Mixed Doubles Coach, Tauiliili Lerissa Fong during the Samoa national anthem.

Samoa defended well and when they had possession, Tyreese Sialapae crossed the line to level the score 6-6.

Samoa’s defense was a blockade for PNG and were just as ellusive in attack. On the very next set, Jesse Leituvae crossed over for the winning try.

The winning try by Jesse Leituvae.

Samoa Touch Federation Coaches and Management for 2023 Pacific Games

Men’s Coach – Kalolo Lepou

Assistant Coach – Sola Toomata

Manager – Lilomaiava Sam Ieremia

Women’s Coach – Mailata Michael Wulf

Assistant Coach – Tauiliili Larissa Fong

Manager – Margaret Sialapae

Mixed Div Coach – Tauiliili Lerissa Fong

Assisted by – Mens and Womens Coaches

Manager – Margaret Sialapae

Starting 14 for the final: 

Arran, Dennis, George, Wati, Rass, Jesse, Stewart, Tyreese, Saelua, Charlize, Lutia, Ella, Bettina, Caitlyn.

Tyreese Sialapae crossing the line to level the score 6-6.

Henry Tagiilima