Samoa target more success at USA Sevens
At the 2012 USA Sevens Alafoti Fa'osiliva scored a dramatic Cup-winning try for Samoa against New Zealand, sparking remarkable celebrations at the Sam Boyd Stadium.
Having won the Dubai Sevens title this season, Faamoni Lalomilo's side sit third in the Series behind Kenya and New Zealand and are targeting more success this weekend as defending champions to propel themselves up the Series standings as the season approaches the half way stage.
Lalomilo was involved as assistant coach in 2012, and will have fond memories of the occasion which saw them secure the 26-19 victory in sudden death extra time.
The defending champions find themselves in Pool D, alongside hosts USA, Spain and Australia, a pool they will be favourites to progress from to the Cup quarter finals, but what can we expect from them this weekend?
Samoa win 2012 USA Sevens
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At just 55 metres the Sam Boyd pitch is by far the narrowest on the HSBC Sevens World Series, but Samoa have made it work for them twice in the past three years to strike gold.
Keeping the ball alive
People think Samoa and assume that these massive men revel in taking the ball into contact, but often here the Samoans have actually looked to keep the ball out of the congested central contact area. Instead the likes of Uale Mai and Reupena Levasa have looked to shift the focus of attack and use clever lines.
Levasa is still there alongside Tupou and Lolo Lui's vision is also a plus. South Africa used the same policy to great effect two years ago, Cecil Afrika returning to the side and combining brilliantly with Branco du Preez to manipulate the limited space and take the Cup. Expect du Preez and Paul Delport to try and do the same this year, with Chris Dry, Frankie Horne and Cornal Hendricks the strike runners.
Big men, wide channels
Last year, Alafoti Fa'osiliva won the Cup final against New Zealand in heart-stopping fashion with a barn-storming run down the right wing to score in the corner, and it was no coincidence that he ended up out there. The Samoans have often adopted this ploy, using the likes of Fa'osiliva and Ofisa Treviranus out wide rather than crowding the contact area. Watch out for the likes of Lio Lolo and captain Afa Aiono doing the same this year.
Quick men through the middle
How many times did Mikaele Pesamino storm through the middle channels when the Samoans won here in 2010? With the big men sucking tacklers into the wider channels and the playmakers looking to use whatever space is available, gaps can appear in the middle. Pesamino also took advantage of the cramped space, picking off a number of interceptions as would-be attackers rushed floated passes in midfield. Expect Robert Lilomaiava and Levi Asifa'amatala to look for the same opportunities in 2013.
Pesamino lands five in a match