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First leg of the Am Samoa Rugby Union McConnell Dowell 7s Tourney kicks off

The Barbarians

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The first leg of the American Samoa Rugby Union (ASRU) McConnell Dowell 7s Tournament kicked off last Saturday at the Kanana Fou field, to determine the four local teams that will compete in the upcoming 5th Cocoa Cola Marist Pago Flag Day International Rugby Sevens Tournament.

Only six teams competed, vying for a spot in the top four which will be determined by points after the three-leg tournament.

The six teams are last year’s champions Avele, Laulii Moli o le Ava, Pago Pago Eagles, Bula Fiji, Barbarians and Islanders.

After round-robin competition, the six teams progressed to three quarter-finals with the fourth team required for the semi-finals, determined by points from the three losing teams.

In the quarter-finals, Avele narrowly defeated Laulii Moli o le Ava 17- 14, Islanders thrashed Bula Fiji 22- 7 and Barbarians were too good for Pago Eagles winning 19- 14.

Laulii Moli o le Ava made it to the semi-finals by points difference and faced Avele, while the Barbarians and the Islanders faced off in the other semi-final.

Avele on the attack against the Barbarians in the final of last Saturday’s ASRU McConnell Dowell 7s Tournament at Kanana For field. Barbarians 26- 5. [photo: Asi A. Fa’asau]


Subsequently, Avele thrashed Laulii Moli o le Ava 40- 0 while the Barbarians defeated the Islanders 14- 5.

Bula Fiji then played Pago Eagles for 5th and 6th place which they narrowly won 12- 10, while Laulii Moli o le Ava received a 40- 0 thrashing by the Islanders.

A Bula Fiji player tries to run past an Islanders defender in their action-packed clash last Saturday at Kanana For field. [photo: Asi A. Fa’asau]


The final was dominated by the Barbarians who defeated Avele 26- 5 to take the number one spot.

The games were officiated by Lakapi Samoa Referees Association officials Alan Aiolupotea who is the president and Vainu’upo Papali’i.

President Aiolupotea stated that he was very impressed with the improvement in the level of skills shown by the local players and their understanding of the rules of the game.

He pointed out that there should be more tournaments so that the players can hone their skills and work on perfecting their combinations in both the backs and forwards.

“However, there is an urgent need to raise the level of fitness,” he revealed. “It’s no use having the skills and a good understanding of game’s rules if the players are not fit.

“Sevens rugby is the fastest form of the game and if players are not able to run aggressively every second of the seven-minute halves, their opponents will run circles around them and win.”

ASRU President Falefata Moli Lemana expressed his appreciation to Samoa rugby officials for making the time to travel to the Territory to help out in officiating the games.

Falefata also thanked the support of McConnell Dowell for leveling the field so that the tournament could be held because of the unavailability of the Veterans’ Memorial Stadium.

The tournament resumes next week and the top four teams will be determined after the third and final leg to be held on the following week.

The top four teams will lock horns with 12 teams from Samoa, Fiji and Hawaii in the upcoming 5th Coca Cola Marist Pago Flag Day International Sevens 2024 Tournament slated for April 26-27 at Veterans’ Memorial Stadium.