Samoa primed for challenges of Cape Town

By: Radio New Zealand


eight_col_gordonManu Samoa sevens coach Sir Gordon Tietjens says his team will have to overcome some obstacles if they are to continue their progress from the first leg of the World Series.

The team are in Cape Town now after emerging from what Tietjens called the “pool of death” in last week’s Dubai event, eventually finishing a credible sixth.

The veteran coach warned the task won’t be any easier when they meet Fiji, Canada and Wales in pool play this weekend.

“This pool, I believe, in some ways as hard as the last pool was because all these teams will be better for their second tournament together, there is no question there,” Tietjens said.

“Whilst we got out of the blocks well and hopefully that’s how we start in our first game against Canada and we can continue on from where we left off and that’s just improving and keep trying to get better.”

Tietjens said, physically the players are in great shape but they will need to bring their mental ‘A’ game.

“Physically we are certainly there but it’s the mental side.

“It’s a long two and half to three weeks from home and getting near to jumping on a plane to go back home but you have got to be focussed on this tournament and nothing else,” he said.

“That’s going to be the real challenge, particularly for the guys that have got families and that as well.

“We are a long way away and their thoughts are always back home with the people from Samoa and the families and hopefully they can play the tournament for them,” Tietjens said.

“I’m sure they will.”

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