Manu Samoa Head coach Stephen Betham
BY Lance Polu
APIA, SAMOA: TUESDAY 20 OCTOBER 2015: Stephen Betham has called it quits as Manu Samoa Head coach, as well as Team Manager Namulauulu Sami Leota. Following a disappointing Rugby World Cup campaign where the Manu Samoa failed to reach the quarters, the pair said the world cup is the end of their commitments and they have to look at focussing attention on other interets and projects.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Samoa Rugby Union, Faleomavaega Vincent Fepuleai, says the SRU will go through the process of recruiting a new head coach.
He said the position would be advertised internally and externally and SRU will secure the best person to take the team over the next four years to World Cup success.
Speaking to the local media after returning home last week, Betham said it was an unpleasant feeling and he felt hollow returning to a country still hurting from the teams poor perfomance.
In the Manu Samoas World Cup 2015 build up that included an impressive performance against the All Blacks in July, there was expectation that the team will make the quarters. It however slid backwards from 8th to 15th ranking and needs to qualify for the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
The Samoa Rugby Union is now embarking on a full review of their 2015 World Cup campaign to determine why the team didn’t perform to expectations.
Betham pinpointed perofrmance as the area where the team failed in the 2015 World Cup campaign. He said the review should identify the weaknesses starting form when he was appointed Coach, the selection and up to the world cup matches.
Despite the 2015 World Cup performance, Stephen Betham will still be remembered for having a full local Samoan sevens team to win the 2010 IRB championship.
Faleomavaega pays tribute to Betham saying he has contributed a lot to Samoan rugby as a sevens and fifteens head coach and the Union hopes he will be involved in some way with Samoan rugby in the future.