2 Feb 2017

Sport: Samoa 7s no quick-fix - Tietjens

1:13 pm on 2 February 2017

The Samoa sevens coach Sir Gordon Tietjens says it will take time to get the team back among the sevens elite.

The Manu lost all of their pool matches at the Wellington tournament last weekend and finished in 13th place, the same position they sit on the World Series standings.

Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi who is also Chair of the Samoa Rugby Union, visited the team at their hotel on the weekend to lend his support.

Samoa prime minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi and Sir Gordon Tietjens.

Samoa prime minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi and Sir Gordon Tietjens. Photo: RNZI/Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

Tietjens said the team appreciated the gesture.

"They realise that it's not a quick fix about getting this team up and running again and getting them up to where they'd like to be," he said.

"But they certainly looked good at certain times, they're a lot fitter now."

"The last thing you want when things are not tracking right is negativity, it's the hardest thing, otherwise I wouldn't get players wanting to play for the team," Tietjens said.

"And as a coach I thought that was tremendous that [the Prime Minister] turned up just to support the team and they could the changes and some shifts (in the team's performance and development) because the team did look fit - they are fit.

"They've worked tremendously hard and I was disappointed as any because we set great expectations after the last three weeks, where we have worked hard."

Sir Gordon Tietjens said Samoa showed improvements on day two in Wellington - beating Papua New Guinea and Russia to snap a four match losing streak - and he's confident of further progress in Sydney this weekend.

Samoa were no match for New Zealand in pool play.

Samoa finished 13th at the Wellington Sevens. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

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