17 April, 2018. Samoa – After three gruelling weeks of rugby, the Apia Maroons have walked away from Saturday’s finals with not only a trophy, but ultimate bragging rights as the 2018 National Women’s Sevens Series champions.
Teams from two pools played on Saturday 14th at the Samusu Primary School field at Aleipata – including the Warriors, Tiavea, Aleipata 2, Lupe ole Sooga, Aana Blues, Aleipata 1, Apia Maroons and Mataiva.
Apia Maroons won all of their pool games, progressing to the final match against Aana Blues. Despite losing to the Aana Blues 7-17, the Maroons’ total points of 60 were high enough to secure their win of the overall tournament.
Final standings for the top 3 teams were Apia Maroons 60, the Warriors 54, and Aana Blues with a total of 52 points.
Women’s rugby development officer, Avii Faalupega, was impressed with the professionalism displayed by the players during the tournament. She told Samoa Planet, “From a women’s development officer point of view, I have witnessed huge progress in the players since day one, until the final leg.
“This is taking into consideration their basic skills, physicality and mental preparation. And this is the whole purpose of these tournaments, it’s to develop the skills of players and promote good sportsmanship.”
The Sevens Series was divided into three rounds at locations where the Samoa Rugby Union (SRU) said women’s rugby is strongest right now – Apia, Aana and Aleipata – held on the 24th March, 7th April and 14thApril.
The Women’s Sevens Series is part of the SRU’s overall push to promote women’s rugby locally, as it stated earlier in the year that it plans to transition to 10-a-side rugby and eventually 15-a-side rugby this year.
In terms of long term goals, the SRU hopes to incorporate women’s teams in the Super 9 Championships, with all nine franchises to have a women’s team.
According to Faalupega, the local talent will not disappoint in terms of SRU’s long term vision, “I can see a good momentum of women involved in rugby, and moreover, the involvement of parents and the community to support women’s Rugby.
“Women’s club (rugby) will now make their way to the 15s competition starting in May this year.”
If you want to find out more about how you can get involved in women’s rugby, contact SRU Women’s Development on 685 7570650 or visit www.manusamoa.com.