Manu Samoa 7s off to a Good Start in Toulouse with 42-12 Win over Spain

Steve Rimoni Onosai and Vaafauese Apelu Maliko. Images: HSBC 7s

The Manu Samoa 7s has secured a comfortable 42-12 win over Spain in their first pool match of the HSBC Toulouse 7s.

Muliagatele Brian Lima’s side never looked threatened by the Spanish, who are currently 9th in the HSBC World Series placings.

Vaafauese scored the first try of the tournament for Samoa when power forward Vaovasa Afa Su’a stole a ball from the Spanish attack off the kick-off. From behind Samoa’s 22, Vaovasa put Vaafauese into space for an easy 60m run to the tryline.

Two names stood out for Samoa in Vancouver and Singapore – Steve Rimoni Onosai and Vaafauese Apelu Maliko. They were outstanding a month ago and were no different to start this tournament as both of them cruised their way over for 2 tries each.

Steve Rimoni Onosai and Vaafauese Apelu Maliko. Images: HSBC 7s

Spain did hit back with Vaovasa unable to keep up with a Spanish speedster who beat Vaovasa on the outside to score their first try.

The halftime score settled at 21-5 to Samoa.

Returning in the second half the match, the Spanish outfit scored a second but this time with some power when Tiago Romero beat 4 Samoan tackles and ran 80 meters to go over for Spain’s second.

Being 28-12 ahead, Muliagatele rolled in his substitutes off the bench including the two debutants, Neueli Leitufia and Ati Jr Ati.

Leitufia was impressive on the defensive showing no fear and putting his body on the line for his country. His small frame meant nothing as he continued to effect tackle after tackle.

Samoa would score three tries in the second half to secure their 42-12 annihilation of Spain.

Ati Jr Ati also showed why he was called in by Muliagatele as he confidentially a raced away from the Spanish defense to score his first career try for the Manu Samoa 7’s.

Samoa caught the 7’s world by surprise a month ago when they finished 8th in Singapore and 4th in Vancouver after a 2-year hiatus from the 7’s World Series due to Covid-19.

Samoa is pooled with Spain, top of the table South Africa and Ireland who are currently 5th.

Samoa’s next match is against Ireland at 5:50am Samoa time.

Brian Telefoni