Vodafone Fijian 7s brilliance clinches title win over Samoa
The Vodafone Fijian 7sreps were a class above the rest of the field yesterday at Suva’s ANZ Stadium. Their win over Pacific rivals Samoa in the Oceania 7s final last night now serves as a perfect platform in their build-up to defend their World Rugby Sevens Series title. The Samoans were no push-over as they came back fighting in the second half. It took the brilliant footwork of gold medal Olympian, Kitione Taliga, to relieve the pressure from the Samoan onslaught and seal the tiltle for Fiji. The win is a cause for celebration following the Vodafone Flying Fijians 7-40 beating from the Barbarians yesterday morning in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Also, our Telecom Fijian women’s 7s lost to a rampaging Australian outfit, also Olympic gold medallists.
Despite not winning any game in the Oceania 7s Championship, Nauru is happy with their outing this year. A country where AFL, basketball and weightlifting dominates, rugby is slowly drawing the interest of locals. Team manager Godwyn Debao said the tournament has been a major boost for the sport in their country. “The Oceania 7s has been really great for the players,” Debao said “We just started rugby back in Nauru a couple of years ago and it has been slowly building. “There is a lot of improvement from this tournament compared to last year’s tournament and we are really happy with that considering all our players are locally based.
“Just being here is a big boost for the team. Back home there is a lot of excitement and cheering, the people are happy with our performance. “We are hoping our boys participation in the tournament will draw in more interest from the locals back home because we cannot grow this sport on our own.
“We do not have proper facilities so hopefully things change with our participation here. “We will definitely take home the experience that we have gained here and hope to build up on it.
“So hopefully, next year, we can come back bigger and stronger.” Nauru lost all four of their games to Papua New Guinea (29-5), Fiji (73-0), American Samoa (17-5) and Tonga (34-5). Edited by Osea Bola
PICTURED: The Vodafone Fijian 7s team celebrate their win last night at the ANZ Stadium in Suva after beating Samoa 28-19.