Planet Rugby

Samoa enter Gold Coast confident

07th October 2013 12:13


Misioka Timoteo

Praised: Misioka Timoteo

Samoa Sevens coach Viliamu Punivalu said his side has built "character and morale" ahead of this week's Sevens World Series opener in Australia.

Punivalu's team will enter the Gold Coast leg on the back of victory at last weekend's Oceania Sevens after beating Fiji, with the coach pleased.

"Last weekend in Fiji we had eight new players to the international level," he told

"Those eight are now cut down to five for this weekend after some analysis. We have eight in total from the win however, with four more coming in who were left to train in Samoa.

"Last weekend was a big ask for the boys. I think we were the smallest and youngest team at the tournament and how I looked at it was that it built character and morale. The boys proved they wanted to be here this weekend, and they are."

One player that Punivalu is interesting in seeing more of this weekend is Misioka Timoteo, who he likens to Ofisa Treviarnus and Alafotio Fa'osiliva.

"I have been after him [Timoteo] for a while," added Punivalu.

"I coached him at club level and we have been working hard on him since. It is interesting because he is like Alafoti and Ofisa, with the same size and speed, so it will be interesting to see him in action this weekend.

"With the Sevens squad there is more time with the players individually, more time to evaluate strengths and weaknesses, and start building a team culture that makes players perform to their optimum best.

"I am very passionate about what I do as a coach and I am very happy to be here."

He added: "We can't get carried away from last weekend. Australia are a strong side, and we have a difficult pool, with Argentina and Scotland."

"We are not here to make up the numbers though, if the boys turn up on the day there is a possibility we can win it. We are here to play our best rugby, and we are excited for the weekend."