Samoa sail into the Cup

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 01 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 01 April, 2007, 12:00am

Samoa emerged as title contenders after demolishing Japan and Canada in pool C.

Mikaele Pesambino, Lolo Lui and captain Uale Mai led the scoring to ease Samoa into a quarter-final berth against Australia.

Coach 'Dickie' Tafua praised his players for keeping to the plan of preventing the opposition from getting hold of the ball.

'The players kept control of possession and made fewer mistakes than they did [on Friday]. The forwards played well, the backs played well and I am happy with their performance so far,' Tafua said.

'That is what we will continue to do, to dominate the possession as much as possible and not give the other teams a chance to score.'

Using the same tactics, Samoa delivered a shock defeat to Fiji to win their first World Sevens series crown in New Zealand in February.

They lie in fourth place in the series on 48 points, 12 points ahead of England. There is no love lost between the two sides after Samoa fell victim to a questionable line call in favour of England in the dying minutes of their quarter-final last year.

But if there is a score to settle then Tafua was giving little away, merely saying the team would take it one game at a time.

'I think Fiji, New Zealand, England and South Africa are still the favourites. I still consider ourselves rank outsiders. All the teams look quite evenly matched,' he said.