Forbes admits Samoa have mental edge
March 29, 2010
DJ Forbes hopes that New Zealand can bounce back © Getty Images
New Zealand Sevens skipper DJ Forbes has admitted that Samoa possess the psychological advantage as the IRB Sevens World Series enters its final two rounds.
The Samoans defeated New Zealand 24-21 in the Hong Kong Sevens final on Sunday to seal their third straight tournament win and secure top spot in the rankings. With tournaments in Edinburgh and London still to come, Forbes hopes that his side can fight back.
"They've got that mental edge on us now but Sevens can go any way," Forbes said. "We're still in the hunt, that's the main thing, and we've got two more tournaments to front up. It's going to be a long break to make sure we dig deep and come out firing in London and Scotland.
"Not taking anything away from Samoa but we've beaten ourselves again. We were just pushing those 50-50s and paid the price. It's heart-wrenching. We had some good support here and a good team. No superstars, just a bunch of hard-working grafters and that was probably the pleasing thing."
Samoa coach Stephen Betham praised his side's blossoming game, with their composure at 14-0 down particularly pleasing.
"I sent a message onto the guys that as long as we got points before half time we were still in with a chance, and just to keep their cool. Twenty minutes is a long time and I take my hat off to them," Betham said. "[Composure] it's something that was missing before in Samoan rugby but we're working on their mental abilities, especially to overcome mental barriers, and we're slowly achieving that. We've still got two to go, still a long way to go, but we'll enjoy the win."
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin
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