American Samoa routed the Australia U-19 Outback Squad 49-6, Saturday, Jan. 2 in day two of Samoa Bowl VII. Samoa News spoke to Australia’s head coach Peter Tos after the game about their tough match against American Samoa, and he commented, “American Samoa’s teams are obviously very good, and we weren’t,” he said laughing.
On Friday, American Samoa’s All Star National Team defeated Hawaii 23-20. Yesterday it was the American Samoa’s All Star International Team playing, a whole new roster.
”We played as we were ruled and allowed to play, and our boys need a lot of improvement in the sport,” Tos said. “American Samoa played really well today, and they deserve the win.”
As for Samoa Bowl VIII, asked if Tos’ team will return, he replied, “well I hope we can, it’s up to the organizers and the committee.
“I know we had a big loss today, but it’s a lesson well learned for our boys so we can go back home and try to improve our players as well as our teams to the level that we have experienced today,” said Tos. “These are memories that we will never forget, and that we will hopefully start taking things seriously. Congrats to the American Samoa team, and to all the coaching staff, I know they have worked hard for this competition, and I give my hat off to them.”
American Samoa Head Coach Pepine Lauvao says it was a great game against Australia.
“It was a great game. Australia did pretty good, they kind of surprised us with the speed they had,” Lauvao told Samoa News. “We played a nice game, it was really great.”
Many believe the sun, under which the Samoan team is well accustomed to playing may have been a factor in the Australian loss, the Outback squad weakening as the match progressed.
Lauvao wishes teams Hawaii and Australia “a safe trip back home.”
“Thank you for the great games. During the time they were here, we learned a lot about football,” Lauvao said. “It’s because of the competition they bring that raised our level to meet their level.”
To Hawaii Head Coach Siuaki Livai, Lauvao noted: “I have a lot of respect for that man. He is a legendary coach for Kahuku High School.
Livai wore his Kahuku jacket when they played American Samoa, New Year’s Day.
“Playing and defeating Hawaii under Livai...it’s very humbling...I have always looked up to Mr. Livai,” said Lauvao. “To Coach Tos, it was their first time here and it was great to see them here. I wish they can come back and play next year or we can visit Australia.”
He added that Australia’s squad “is very talented.”
“They are very talented kids, as for the physical part of the game, our Samoan kids are very physical...Australia also has a lot of speed...they know how to play football and I know the next time they will come prepared and we will have to work harder. I hope to see them again next year.”
As for what’s next for Lauvao, he told the News that he plans to take little break and finally celebrate his school’s championship in the local football league.
Lauvao is Head Coach for the Samoana High School Sharks and he said after they won the (American Samoa High School Athletics Association) high school football championships in late November last year, they never got the chance to celebrate.
“We didn’t have a break to celebrate our championship because the kids went back into Samoa Bowl,” he said. “So we really haven’t had the chance to enjoy our championship with the coaching staff, the kids and staff at Samoana.”
As for his All Stars, Lauvao extends a big thank you to his players.
“Thanks for the great games, both Samoa Bowl games. These were great kids, well disciplined, respectful, talented kids,” he said. “I’d like to thank their parents who supported them and allowed them to come to practice early everyday at 7 a.m. ... they were always there. I thank the parents for the trust they had in me to coach their kids. I also thank my (all star) coaching staff and their families.”
He says people really don’t know the time coaches put into their work.
“I thank my coaching staff for all the sacrifices they made, all the time spent away from their families during this two-week break,” Lauvao said. “And I also thank our principal Simon Mageo who was always there...as well as all high school coaches for their support. I would also like to wish a Happy New Year to all the parents, families and the coaching staff...and my all star kids.”