Reds coach Samania steps down

Wednesday October 03, 2018 Written by Published in Rugby Union

Vase Samania has stepped down as Takuvaine Reds coach and president to focus on national duties.

The former national rep is the coach of the Cook Islands Sevens team which is gearing up for the Oceania Championship in Fiji next month.

Samania guided the Reds to the final of the Rarotonga Club 15s competition last weekend. The side lost to Tupapa Panthers 23-34 at The Swamp in Avatiu.

“I have too much on my plate right now and national Sevens team demands more of my attention and time. I need to fully commit to the national team in order to ensure we achieve more at the international stage,” Samania said.

“I may be away for two or three years from the club commitment and I’m pretty sure someone from the village will step up and take charge of the club and the team.”

Samania has spent 23 years with the club as player and coach. He guided the Reds to domestic rugby union title win in 2013.

“It took Takuvaine 18 years to win the trophy in 2013. The club has the potential and we just need to work with the core players in the squad and everything else will fall into place,” he said.

Samania said it was not an easy job to look after the club and guide them through the domestic competition.

“It’s not easy to look after the boys and the club especially when there is no major sponsors to help out. We depend on cutting grass, selling food and BBQ to help us through the competition. But in saying that, we are blessed to have a bunch of good and committed players in the team.

“I want to thank everyone who supported the club and believed in the boys. Nobody thought we were going be in the final and we came back strong in the second round and got through to the final. The village should be proud of the boys.”

With 15s season now over, Samania said they need to get the players to turn their focus to the Cook Islands International Sevens and the Oceania Sevens Championship.

He said the aim of the national team at the upcoming regional tournament was to qualify for more than one HSBC Sevens World Series event.

Panthers coach Darren Piri also said the focus of the club was now the upcoming Sevens tournament.

“Some of the guys in the team will be playing for the club at the Sevens tournament while others will be hoping to win a spot in the national team,” Piri said.

“It’s been a tough season, we had our ups and downs but we are happy to finish as winners in the end.”

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