The Chief Executive Officer of the Samoa Rugby Union (S.R.U.), Faleomavaega Vincent Fepulea’i, is remaining hopeful that the Manu Samoa Sevens can turn their season around, starting this weekend in Singapore.
He is also demanding a better performance from the team following their disappointing outing in Hong and the Gold Coast.
The Sir Gordon Tietjens-coached team is ranked a lowly 12th place on the H.S.B.C. Sevens Series. The national side also missed out on the top eight teams of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, losing to Australia and England.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer yesterday, Faleomavaega said they are well aware of the situation but they are hoping the tables will turn.
“I think everyone is well aware of the feeling of where the team is at right now with their results,” he said. “The Samoa Rugby Union is doing everything they can in supporting their campaign."
“Right now we are pretty much trying everything we can to turn things around for our team and the competition itself is getting tougher."
“We have given them everything they have asked for, especially by contracting players. We all feel the same thing about our Manu Samoa Sevens, but Samoa Rugby Union is still assisting the team with their preparations.”
Faleomavaega admitted that even they as officials are not happy with the way the team has been performing.
“Samoa Rugby Union is also not comfortable about the lowest ranking we are at the moment, but hoping things will turn around.”
Faleomavaega said injuries among the players have not helped.
“We have also been struck with first choice players facing injuries and that is why Sir Gordon has been changing our team quite a lot since the beginning.”
Regarding public concerns on the Sir Gordon Tietjen’s performance, Faleomavaega says there’s a procedure to follow.
“There’s still a process that the Samoa Rugby Union is following about the contract with the Manu Samoa Sevens Coach. There will be a review and evaluation to be done after the series, but at the moment we can’t operate that because the series is still in process."
“Results are something no one can tap into. It all comes down to the performance by the players and the coach as well is already aware of the pressure and expectations from our country as well as the Samoa Rugby Union."
“But after the H.S.B.C. Sevens Series in process at the moment and the Sevens World Cup in July, then we will have the review for Sir Gordon."
“We also have few people here assisting our coach with the technical side of the team, to assessing what the team lacks because Samoa Rugby Union based their selection of Sir Gordon for the long run and to develop the players.”
Faleomavaega defended the coach’s performance so far.
“We’ve had mixed results so far up and down from our team and we can’t quite put our finger on Gordon."
“The Union has also been consulting the players about any issues within the team and we are not taking the matter lightly."
“We’re very concerned especially because we are in 12th place of the H.S.B.C. World Sevens Series, so we are hoping for things to turn around pretty much quickly. We can only support them as much as we can.”