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Samoa Rugby

The Samoan Conundrum sounds like an international book thriller from John Grisham or Graham Greene, but in the world of 7s rugby, it refers to the current low, ninth place standings of a former giant in the HSBC tournament. In the first four events this year, the team garnered 19-2-2 points, a dismal result for a perennial contender.

Samoa rank fifth overall in total points during the fifteen seasons of the sevens circuit. Their past ten seasons’ standings (including the current one) are as follows:

2005/06           5

2006/07           3

2007/08           3

2008/09           Out of top 5

2009/10           1

2011/11           5

2012/12           4

2013/14           4

2014/15           Out of top 5

2015/16           9th

After a good start in Australia, Samoa collapsed, especially, in South Africa and Wellington. They hope to rebound in Las Vegas where they will welcome the annual, large crowd of Samoans living in the US who come regularly to cheer on the team.

Possible Olympic Repercussions

The probability is slim that Samoa can recover in the five remaining tournaments to advance into one of the top four qualifying nations for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. If not, they will compete in the Oceania Qualifier. But here’s the rub, if Australia do not make the top four (Currently, New Zealand, South Africa, Fiji and Australia), say, losing the spot to England, then they also will have to face Samoa in that Oceania qualifier. The loser of this match would have one last opportunity to make the Olympics in the final 16-team repechage.

What looked like times of old for Samoa in Australia, has met harsh reality head on.

 

Comments

In order for Rugby to be truly considered a Global sport, you need a strong and healthy Samoa team. The IRB has helped island nations (Fiji and Tonga) by relaxing the laws regarding players returning to participate for their country of origin from other unions. But, the IRB ought to designate an independent management team to oversee the running of unions like Samoa. This will hopefully, cut out the graft and cronyism that is suffocating this union and let these amazing athletes from this amazing country play worry free.
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