Tietjens happy with team’s progress

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Afa Aiono is one of the squad members of the Manu Samoa sevens.

Afa Aiono is one of the squad members of the Manu Samoa sevens. (Photo: photosport.co.nz)

Manu Samoa Sevens coach, Sir Gordon Tietjens, is happy with his team’s progress so far despite the Samoan Barbarians losing Waikato, 26-14, in the Bay of Plenty Sevens last weekend.

The Manu Samoa Sevens are in Mount Maunganui on a five-day training camp and part of it included the Sevens tournament during the weekend which was used to give some new players a run.

“The intensity or the level of sevens they play over there means they have got to make shifts in two areas around fitness and also around nutrition. They work hand in hand,” Tietjens is quoted as saying by the Bay of Plenty Times.

“So getting them here is to put them in this tournament and play them at a different intensity, against different types of potential New Zealand players they are going to strike in the World Series.

“Some of these boys have never been off the island. They are a pleasure to work with. They will spend five days here at the High Performance Centre and I am using this as a selection tool to go to Wellington.

“We have another week here before then from the 17th.”

In the final against Waikato, former All Black Zac Guildford was great showing he is somewhere near his peak, with his work rate and running off the ball superb, while Luke Masirewa was unstoppable at times.

The tournament is the dress rehearsal for the men’s and women’s provinces before next weekend’s Bayleys National Sevens at Rotorua International Stadium.

Tietjens’ son Paul coached Bay of Plenty Blue to within a minute of making the Cup semifinal before Northland snatched it away with a try at the hooter.

MANU SAMOA SEVENS ROSTER 

SQUAD: Afa Aiono, Alefosio Tapili, Lafaele Va’a, Tila Mealoi, Tomasi Alosio, Joe Perez, Ed Fidow, Phoenix Hunapo-Nofoa, Samoa Toloa, Malu Falaniko, Tofatu Solia, Greg Foe, Oneone Faafou, Francis Ieremia

Non-Playing Reserves:

Greg Lealofi, Laaloi Leilua, Tuga Mativa, Eti Slater, Gordon Langkilde

Injury Precaution:

Siaosi Asofolau

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