Three of the Manu Samoa 7’s Cape Town Cup Championship squad have been named in the HSBC World Sevens series Dream Team.
Samoa’s Co-Captains Vaovasa Afa Su’a and Vaafauese Apelu Maliko have both been named alongside 20 year old Faafoi Falaniko, whose boot got Samoa through the semifinal against Argentina.
Vaovasa Afa-Su’a from Salelavalu, Salelologa and Faala Palauli in Savaiii leads by example on the field.
He has played quality 7s rugby as Captain for Tama Uli over the years but had never been given the chance into the National 7’s squad until Muliagatele Brian Lima’s reign that focused primarily on local players. At 31 years of age, he brings the balance to the squad of mostly youngsters.
Vaafauese Apelu-Maliko. The epitome of brilliance encompassing power, strength, speed and 7s-specific skills that has him leaving the opposition on their backsides as he glides to the tryline.
Making try-saving tackles is also becoming another forté of his. The Co-Captain from Lotopue, Lufilufi, Laulii and Fusi Saoluafata has had to step into the main leadership role in the absence of Melani Matavao in the last two legs. Vaafauese captained the Tepatasi 7s side before his selection to the national squad.
Faafoi Falaniko is just a pleasure to watch. He pointed to the goal posts straight away as his Co-Captains deliberated over the decision to kick the penalty in extra time in the semifinal against Argentina.
The 20 year old plays his club rugby for Tepatasi under the guidance of Pastor Malo Sefo of the Assemblies of God Church.
The Manu Samoa 7’s are now on top of the HSBC World Sevens Series table after 3 legs. They are on 47 points each with South Africa, with Manu Samoa in 1st place because they have a higher points difference margin.
The Manu Samoa 7’s will return home to Samoa for a break and to prepare for the 4th leg of the HSBC World Series – set for the 22nd of January in Hamilton, New Zealand.
The team arrives back into Samoa at 7pm Wednesday afternoon.