Samoa have advanced to the semifinals of the London 7’s after defeating Great Britain 12-5.
Samoa drew first blood via none other than Va’afauese Apelu Maliko.
Samoa forced a Great Britain error from the kickoff and called for a scrum, where the ball went straight to Apelu-Maliko who left three Great Britain defenders in his rear view mirror to score the first try of the match.
Halfway through the first half a Samoan error gifted the Brits possession of the ball.
Great Britain showed great patience to build phases as they held the ball for over two minutes to tire the Samoan defence and score their first try.
The second half started at 5-5 and it was the men in blue who scored the first try.
It came via a well worked move by Melani Matavao and Fa’afoi Falaniko that put Motu Opetai into acres of space. But it wouldn’t be an Opetai try as he gave an easy pass to Apelu-Maliko to increase his stats for Top Try Scorer of the season.
The 7-point lead to Samoa in a quarterfinal is way too narrow of a lead to be comfortable and Samoan supporters around tbe globe would have been at the edge of theor seats.
Great Britain went on the attack in the dying minutes of the match with hopes of equalling the score and force extra time.
As the Samoan defense tired, Co-Captain fantastic Apelu-Maliko showed immense strength in the breakdown to earn Samoa a penalty to end the game 12-5.
Samoa are through to the semifinal against Argentina at 1:33am Samoa Time.
Samoa’s dream of automatic Olympic qualification remains alive with Australia having lost the semifinal to Fiji.