DUBAI // Viliamu Punivalu, the Samoa coach, said his players were guilty of “laziness” after the defending champions exited the competition at the first hurdle on Friday night.
The Samoans will be forced to play for consolation silverware on Saturday after being knocked out of the top-tier competition because of pool-play defeats to Argentina and South Africa.
“I have high expectations and expect high standards of the team,” said Punivalu, who resigned from his job as a structural engineer to take charge of Samoa sevens at the start of this season.
“I gave it to them after the game. We worked hard and I said to them, how could you train so hard in rain and sun, only to come over here and be defeated by your own laziness and lack of consistency.
“We need to correct our mistakes and our decision-making, and this team can only get better. This is a young team and you can’t expect miracles.
“We came here with high hopes, but unfortunately it didn’t turn out that way. There were too many mistakes.”
Another notable absentee from the quarter-final line-up is Australia, who paid the price for defeat against Scotland in the opening match of the day on Friday.
The Australians lie second in the world series at present, having reached the final against New Zealand in their home tournament on the Gold Coast last month.
However, they tumbled out of the main competition here when they lost 19-14 to Wales in the penultimate match of Day 1.
“It’s been a really disappointing day. It was a tough group, and Scotland were a vastly improved side,” said Michael O’Connor, the Australia coach.
“What it all boiled down to was that we weren’t good enough against Scotland. We played better against Wales, but we just didn’t deserve it today.”
Follow us on twitter at @SprtNationalUAE