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Sevens team raring to go

Thursday July 11, 2019 Written by Published in Rugby Union
Sevens coaching guru Gordon Tietjens (second from right) and his Samoa team had a scrimmaging session with the Cook Islands ahead of the tournament, starting this morning. 19071026 Sevens coaching guru Gordon Tietjens (second from right) and his Samoa team had a scrimmaging session with the Cook Islands ahead of the tournament, starting this morning. 19071026

THE men’s Sevens competition begins today at the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa.

 

Team manager Ewan Cameron is thankful the team has had time to acclimatise to the humid conditions in Samoa and says they are prepared to fight for a medal.

"Our preparations have been really good. We were fortunate to have four days to prepare before the tournament starts. It’s a different climate in Samoa, one the boys are not used to, but it is not unfamiliar to many of our players, especially those who recently competed in Hong Kong" says Cameron.

The Vase Samania-coached team featured in the Raro Club Sevens tournament held last month, playing against four local clubs. The national team won the tournament, which was held over two weekends at Victoria Park in Tupapa.

Earlier this week in Samoa, the team played a friendly match against American Samoa. The Cook Islands were victorious and Cameron says it was a good opportunity for the team to get rid of any pre-tournament nerves they may have had.

"It also showed that we cannot underestimate any team playing in the tournament," Cameron says.

Pacific Games organisers yesterday revealed that the venue for the Sevens tournament would change from Apia Park to Marist St. Josephs Sports Stadium in Lotopa.

"The wet conditions and high surface traffic at Apia Park have contributed to the decision to move the venue,” a joint release from the Pacific Games Office, World Rugby and Samoan Rugby Union stated.

Cameron supports the change of venue, saying that playing at Apia Park "would not provide the standard Sevens players are used to or deserve".

The team has a good chance of making a medal final, but will have a tough task making the gold final, with defending champions Fiji in the same pool as them.

"Our biggest pool matches will be against Fiji and New Caledonia, but we can’t afford to underestimate any team," Cameron says.

He confirmed that the team will be at full strength for their opening match against Nauru, taking place this morning.