Samoa have lost the semifinal in London against Argentina by 10-7.
The stakes were high in this match and defeating Argentina was going to be no easy feat.
Los Pumas went oh so close to scoring in the first minute of the match but a last ditch tackle by Taunu’u Niulevaea denied the Argentinian try.
The try saver by Niulevaea came costly for Argentina as Samoa in turn went the length of the field with a break away by Fa’afoi Falaniko.
Falaniko was run down by Argentina but not before he got an off-load away to the big man Niulevaea who crossed the line but gifted Apelu-Maliko another easy try for his tally.
Samoa’s 7-0 lead was quickly cut to 7-5 when Argentina answered back with a well worked try of their own.
The second half didn’t start so well for Samoa when Motu Opetai suffered an injury. Play was once again stopped as the Siumu power forward was taken off the field. Opetai is the 8th serious injury in the Samoa 7s team within three weeks.
Samoa struggled to find the ball in the second half and it cost them their lead as Argentina scored an unconverted try to bring the game to 10-7 with a minute to go.
Samoa forced an error in the dying minutes to give themself a chance to steal the match.
However, all hopes of winning vanished when Argentina forced Apelu-Maliko to step out of bounds and that was all she wrote.
Samoa will now have to regroup and play the 3rd place final against New Zealand who lost to Fiji in their quarterfinal.
Samoa’s next opportunity to qualify for Olympics comes at the Oceania 7s tournament later this year in November.
With New Zealand, Fiji and Australia all now qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympics, Samoa will face Tonga, Cook Is and PNG at the Oceania qualifier.
Samoa play the 2022-2023 HSBC World Series champs, New Zealand at 4:29am Samoa Time.