London 7s: Manu Samoa Edged Out of Cup Contention by Australia

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Owen Niue streaks away in a 60m run to the tryline against Australia. Image: Mike Lee for HSBC World Series.

Samoa have fallen out of Cup contentions at the HSBC London 7’s after a 14-26 loss to Australia in the semifinals.

Vaovasa Afa Su’a during quarterfinal with England in London 2022. Image: Mike Lee for HSBC World Series.

It was a match to forget for the men in blue riddled with error after error, and a few referee calls that seemed to just not go Samoa’s way.

The Manu have been struggling with discipline and a team like Australia weren’t going to let them get away with it.

The Samoans just couldn’t seem to catch the ball in the first half, registering three unforced errors which led to three Australian tries.

Fellow Samoan representing Australia, Dietrich Roache, threw a massive dummy to slice through two Samoan defenders to give Australia a 7-0 lead.

A Samoan knock on gave Australia prime field position to extend their lead and that’s exactly what they did through Matthew Gonzalez. With one sidestep, Gonzalez made two Samoan defenders tackle each other while he streaked away for a 14-0 lead to his side.

One last knock on by Samoa in the first half led to another Australian try as they took a 19-0 halftime lead.

Samoa needed to be the first team to score in the second half to keep their Cup final hopes alive.

After some confusion in the midfield, Samoa spread the ball wide to Uaina Sione.

Sione made it look simple and just took the direct route to the tryline by running over the top of an Australian defender and score Samoa’s first try.

From kickoff, Samoa retained the ball and looked to go on the attack. Paul Scanlan put a chip kick through and did well to knock it back for Samoa. However, a ricochet of the ball bounced in favour of Australia when Corey Toole hacked it downfield and beat everyone to it to give Australia a controlling 26-7 lead.

With only 90 seconds remaining, the match was just too far for Samoa to make a comeback but that did not stop the brave all-local side.

Owen Niue showed off his pace as he ran over 60 metres downfield for a consolation try that would end the match in a full time score of 26-14.

Manu Samoa now face off against Fiji for the 3rd place playoff.

Owen Niue streaks away in a 60m run to the tryline against Australia. Image: Mike Lee for HSBC World Series.

BJ Telefoni Lima