Samoa
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Manu Samoa Sevens star Apelu Maliko wins two awards in London

22 MAY 2023: Manu Samoa Sevens star Va’a Apelu Maliko has been crowned two prestigious rugby awards at the final leg of the 2023 tournament in London this morning Samoan time.

Scoring an incredible 50 tries across the 11 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023 events, Apelu Maliko was named the recipient for the Gilbert Top Try Scorer Award.

The 24-year-old sevens find in Muliagatele Brian Lima’s outfit, averaged 4.06 points per game in his 62 matches this season, finishing the 2023 Series with 252 points.

Apelu Maliko was also crowned the DHL Impact Player Award – for demonstrating the most consistency and delivering the greatest impact against four key criteria – carries, offloads, line-breaks and tackles.

The Samoan hooker made 41 breaks, 122 tackles, 55 offloads and 214 carries throughout the 11 events and helped his side lift the cup trophy as champions in Cape Town, South Africa in December.

Meanwhile, Manu Samoa sevens missed automatic qualification for the Paris Olympics 2024 when it failed to push out Australia by one point at the final leg of the HSCBC 2023 sevens tournament.

Despite beating Australia in pool play and at quarter finals, Manu Samoa finished 6th with 131 points behind Australia’s 132 in the weekends final leg of the tournament.

Manu Samoa’s hopes for automatic qualification were dashed when they lost to Argentina in the semifinals of the Cup championship but went on to beat New Zealand on full time for the Bronze medal.

Manu Samoa still has the opportunities to qualify for the Paris Olympics in 2024.