AST SCOPA have retained the Senior A Shield with a 25-22 win over Vailele in the fifth round of the Taula Apia Rugby Union yesterday at Tuanaimato.
Vailele lead 12-10 at halftime, and coach Aukuso Fruean said it was a very tough game.
“We could’ve won but we missed our chance.”
He said the performance was encouraging for the rest of the season with the club’s attention now shifting to sevens with the Vailima Marist International Sevens Tournament next weekend.
Fruean said all the sevens players were playing in the 15s to keep them fit and ready for Marist.
SCOPA now switch into sevens mode also, and are glad to hold the Shield heading into the break next week.
Player/coach Taito Louis Lene said they didn’t want to lose it after just one week.
“It’s important for us to keep the Shield, so we can have the momentum and excitement in the camp.”
He said it would be good to keep morale high in the club before Marist.
Taito said it was a close game in part because they were missing so many players through injury.
“Last week was a tough game, we had almost half of our team from last week that couldn’t make it today.”
“That was our first Shield challenge in a long time, so last week was an eye opener.”
He said a lot of the team had to step up and fill those gaps, including those who normally only coached like himself.
“During training, we wanted to have two strong teams, so if someone else has to step in.”
He said Vailele ran the ball a lot, which is exactly what they expected.
“They’ve always been a team that love to play flair rugby.”
“That first half we turned over a lot of ball and couldn’t convert.”
Taito was glad that SCOPA were able to finish strong, and hopes the momentum will carry over to the sevens.
Taula Apia Rugby Union
Week 5 Results:
TIR Moata’a 10-0 SSAB Moamoa
Alamagato 17-9 AST SCOPA
Vaimoso HJ Keil 17-12 Lupeolesoaga
Apia Maroons 6-12 Vailele
BBE Vaiala Ulalei 23-10 Leifiifi College Eagles (Vaiala retain U20 Trophy)
TIR Moata’a 48-7 Alamagato
Apia Maroons 19-13 Lupeolesoaga
Vaimoso HJ Keil 32-12 SSAB Moamoa
BBE Vaiala Ulalei bye
AST SCOPA 25-22 Vailele (SCOPA retain Senior A Shield)