Tuna Tuitama Scores a Chip n Chase Double in Samoa’s Second Win in Sydney

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Manu Samoa Sevens have secured their second win in the pool stages in Sydney with speedster Tuna Tuitama crossing over for a double.

After a tough 17-12 win over Ireland in their first match on Day 1, Samoa started Day 2 strong with a comfortable 26-7 win over USA who are currently second on the series table.

Samoa were first on the scoreboard after a well executed set-play off a lineout which put Paul Scanlan into a gap that ended with Co-Captain Vaafauese Apelu-Maliko into the corner for a 5-0 early lead.

In quick succession, Samoa crossed over again within two minutes.  Tuna Tuitama displayed individual brilliance with another classic chip and chase that threw off the USA defense. Scanlan coverted and Samoa were ahead 12-0.

When USA conceded a yellow card with a dangerous tackle, Samoa capitalised and scored their third try off another set-piece play.

This time it was Neueli Leutufia who handed a perfect short ball to Faafoi Falaniko from a scrum set-play. Falaniko was under the post to take Samoa into halftime with a 19-0 lead.

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USA didn’t get points on the board until a knock on from Samoa put Malacchi Esdale over the line.

After a long passage of play Samoa secured a turnover from the breakdown and the ball found its way to Tuna Tuitama.  The Apia Marion’s speedster backed himself once again with another brilliantly executed chip and chase that secured him his second try of the game.

Samoa will play Spain in their final pool game at 4.43pm Samoa Time this afternoon.

The win over USA was crucial for Samoa’s chances to stay in Cup contention having not made the HSBC quarterfinal for the first since Muliagatele took over.

Samoa is currently 5th on the World 7s Series points table.

The 2022-2023 HSBC World 7s Series has had a different Cup Championship in each of the four tournaments so far.

The top 9 teams are still all in the running for the 2022-2023 world series. The top 4 will automatically qualify for the 2024 Olympics.

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Daniel M Limā