Manu Samoa 7’s Defeat New Zealand 12-7 to Win Cup Final in Cape Town


Manu Samoa 7’s are Cape Town Champions after defeating New Zealand 12-7.

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It is Samoa’s first Cup title win since the Paris 7s back in 2016, when now Head Coach Muliagatele Brian Lima was the Assistant Coach to Damien McGrath.

The youngest players in the current squad like 20 year old Fa’afoi Falaniko and Levi Milford, or 21 year olds Neueli Leitufia and Steve Onosai were only 14-15 years of age the last time Samoa won a cup title.

Samoa drew first blood after New Zealand were pinged for 3 penalties in a row.

A quick tap by the ellusive Fa’afoi Falaniko and over he went for Samoa’s first try.

Samoa went into halftime with a 5-0 lead and with all the momentum.

Bad weather with heavy rain, thunder and lightening affected the gameplay and Samoa found it hard to get out of their own end at the start of the second half.

With the bad field conditions, both sides were kicking the ball away from their own half but a Samoa kick went out on the full which gave New Zealand the opportunity to take the lead and that’s exactly what they did.

A brilliant offload by Che Clarke put the son of Eric Rush, Brady Rush, into acres of space and off he went under the post.

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With a 7-5 lead, New Zealand kicked off deep and looked to pressure on Samoa.

The young guns of Samoa did not look at all phased by the pressure.

Tuna Tuitama kicked long and put in an enormous effort to chase his own kick. He didn’t win the race to the ball, but he earned Samoa a penalty.

His partner in crime Mr Faafoi Falaniko was right on the spot to take the quick tap.

Two passes later and Va’a Apelu Maliko found himself all alone and running towards the tryline to score the game winner for Samoa.

There was still a minute left on the clock and Samoa had to stay patient in defense. On the hooter a knock on by the Kiwis meant they still had to play a scrum.

With ball in hand from the scrum Samoa gladly kicked the ball out to end the game and move to on field celebrations. Footage of Faafoi Falaniko sliding through the grass on his stomach as if he were enjoying a rainy day at the Aleipata grounds in Samoa!

Brian Telefoni