In the first leg of the UK Super Sevens Series, Samurai progressed unbeaten through the competition, losing the final to Saracens. Here is Head Coach Scott Wight’s synopsis of that game.
The final on Saturday against Saracens was always going to be hard. I had been watching them all day and they just got better and better as the tournament went on. I think, just as with every other squad, it’s all about how the team gels together on the day. Without taking anything away from Saracens’ superb performance, when you’ve been training together in the same environment for a couple of years you have a great head start against an invitational team like Samurai who came together the day before the tournament and had one training session. Plus, the fact that as full-time professional players, you’re training everyday as a rugby player. A lot of our younger players aspire to that level, and so it was a superb opportunity for them to play against a top-quality opposition like Saracens and great learning experience for them.
Regarding our performance, I think where it went wrong for us and they stole a march was at the kick offs. For me this is the most important set piece in a game of rugby 7s now. When you score you want to win the ball back at restarts to starve the opposition of possession, and that is exactly what they did to us. I felt we probably didn’t use the ball as well as we could have and got caught trying to be confrontational rather than trying to keep the ball alive. They turned us over at ruck time too often. But we live and learn, and our mindset is one of growth, so we will be the better for it next time we meet them. We’re already looking forward to the return fixture at Bury next year!
It was great to see #SamuraiFamily and Tongan 7s international Sione Vailanu on such good form for Saracens. He was great for Samurai in Hong Kong and looks like he has kicked on again with Saracens this year. The man was a machine at the breakdown & plays like a young Billy.
I would also like to compliment Sarries on their attitude, they have a strong culture and their values of humility and work rate were clearly on display throughout the day, all credit to the Wolfpack.