🇼🇸🇼🇸🇼🇸 In an epic performance culminating months of hard work and dedication, Samoa Touch Rugby have secured a double gold in the men’s and women’s competitions by edging out defending champions Papua New Guinea in incredibly close finals today.
The Women’s Open team edged out their Pacific rivals by 9-8 in a drop-off while the Men’s Open final was also a nail biting 6-5 against PNG.
Papua New Guinea had beaten Samoa as hosts of the 2019 Pacific Games for both divisions and Samoa settled for silver.
This time the Samoa Touch Federation overturned their 2015 and 2019 silver medals to win a double Pacific Games gold, with the mixed competition to come.
In a post match interview, Men’s Head Coach Kalolo Lepou said it has been over 20 years since Samoa Touch have eyed gold and losing in Samoa four years ago was not an easy pill to swallow.
“The preparations leading up to this began with the lessons learnt from those losses..”
Lepou said there were many debutants in the side and the youngsters took a whole to settle their nerves with PNG leading at halftime.
“We thank God for the strength and wisdom upon our players..”
The Women’s Head Coach, Mailata Michael Wulf said the path to gold was not easy with many sacrifices made by not only the players, but management and the Association officers.
Kneeling after the final whistle, Mailata said it was an overwhelming feeling and he gives all honour and glory to God Almighty for the results today, for both men and women.
“That epic final came down to the wire, the drop-off..
“The girls showed such resilience to stay composed and come back after being down by two at halftime..” said Coach Wulf.
Mailata says this is the youngest team Samoa has ever put into a Pacific Games, with two players being 14 year-olds still in High School with the rest 18 and under.
“Thank God for the gift of life and the talent He has given to the girls to win this gold medal for Samoa..”