Waratahs coach and former Manu Samoa assistant coach, Daryl Gibson, is talking up Tama Samoa’s chances at the Global 10s in Brisbane.
Captained by former Manu Samoa Sevens stalwart, Asiata Falemiga Selesele, Tama Samoa is set to take on Auckland Blues, Canterbury Crusaders and the Queensland Reds today.
Tama Samoa played Gibson’s Waratahs in friendly earlier this week where the men in blue gave the Super 15 side a “rude awakening about the intricacies of playing 10-a-side rugby.”
Gibson told the Australian media Tama Samoan “rang rings around us” when the two sides met.
“They have been training for five months as a Tens team, so we learned a lot,” Gibson said. “They played with great width and great pace, and used the space really well.
“They were just far more organised and knew the little nuances of the game. We learned a great deal.
“It made us consider the ways you can play tens. They were obviously adopting a very sevens approach, in a very speed-orientated game. You can play a more set-piece, territory-type game and pick accordingly.
“We learned a great deal from them.
“We traded information at the end and they talked about not contesting the breakdown, just having one man at the tackle and everyone else staying spread.
“That was interesting. Do you employ a sweeper or keep everyone up in the line? How you use your men in attack and how you organise them. All those things.”
The top teams from each pool qualify for the quarter-finals.
Manu Samoa prop, Census Johnston, is spearheading Tama Samoa’s charge for the A$1.6m (T$2.88m) prize money.
“We are looking forward to playing against some of the top professional sides in the world,” coach Namulauulu Alama Ieremia said.
“We have selected the best available players to represent Samoa.”
The squad features eight Manu Samoa players and two from the Manu Samoa Sevens.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to play in this exciting tournament.
“We are fully aware of the challenge playing against full time professional outfits but we can’t wait to perform and give it our best for our supporters at this exciting inaugural tournament.”
The Chief Executive Officer of the Samoa Rugby Union, Faleomavaega Vincent Fepuleai is excited and hopeful for Tama Samoa.
“Its new to us,” he said. “The tournament is basically the first international event of the caliber that we’ve attended. We’ve been preparing since December and we’ve put a lot of effort into the conditioning of the players to participate in this event.”
Census Johnston, Tietie Tuimauga, Ausetalia Vaiomanu, Jarred Adams, Bronson Fotualii Tauakipulu, Ripine Fualau, Oneone Faafou, Faalemiga Selesele, Mikaele Tapili, Liahona Vaegaau, Jeff Lepa, Greg Foe, Lucky Schuster Palamo, Danny Tusitala, Dangelo Leuila, Patrick Faapale, Opetera Peleseuma, Faafou Amate, Meki Magele, Tila Mealoi, Johnny Samuelu, Faletoa Moli, Samoa Toloa.
Pool A: Chiefs, Melbourne Rebels, Panasonic Wild Knights, Waratahs
Pool B: Blues, Crusaders, Reds, Tama Samoa
Pool C: Brumbies, Bulls, Highlanders
Pool D: Hurricanes, Toulon, Western Force