Manu Samoa Advance to their 3rd Straight Cup Semifinal

Samoa celebrate the win over England on Day 1 of HSBC London Sevens at Twickenham Stadium on 28 May, 2022. Photo credit: Mike Lee - KLC fotos for World Rugby.

The men from Samoa have advanced to their third straight Cup Semifinal after dismantling Spain 34-12.

Manu Samoa 7’s got off to an early 5-0 start when Melani Matavao showed off his footwork to beat one Spanish defender, and then his power to beat another before an offload released Steve Rimoni to score in the corner.

5-0 became 12-0 in a flash when the ball found the hands of Paul Scanlan. Scanlan squared up a would be Spanish defender before he threw and insane sidestep to send another defender to the ground. From there Scanlan shifted gears and showed his speed in the eloquent finish over the tryline.

Samoa were in full control of the match and should have been even more so after Enrique Bolinches was shown a yellow card for taking out Scanlan in the air.

However, that’s not exactly how things panned out for Samoa.

In the two minutes the Manu had 7 players on Spain”s 6, the Spanish managed to tie up the match at 12-12, placing worry into the hearts of every Samoan cheering them on from across the globe.  (There are 200,000 Samoans in Samoa, and well over 500,000 diaspora around the globe!)

The men in blue looked lost on attack and were throwing some questionable skip passes which Eduardo Lopez intercepted to tie up the match.

Spain won their own kickoff and looked to try and take the lead in only their 9th quarterfinal final ever.

However, some quick line speed in the young Samoan side’s defence forced Spain to throw a pass to Uaina Sione. Sione found himself racing away for the corner, and showed off his trademark dive over the tryline to regain the lead for Samoa.

At 17-12 Samoa chose to trust their defence by kicking off long to Spain. The option paid off well when Samoa’s counter rucking earned them a penalty infront of the post.

It was try time when a quick tap and quick hands got the ball to a power running Vaovasa Afa Su’a who is always going to be too strong a runner to stop that close to the line.

A 22-12 lead with 90 seconds remaining saw Spain lose all hopes of winning the match as they let Samoa score two more tries in a 34-12 Samoan onslaught in the end.

Samoa will face off with Australia in the second semifinal at 3:15 am. Their Pacific brothers, Fiji, will face New Zealand in the other semifinal.

Brian Telefoni