The Fiji Times

Praise for 7s tourney

Coral Coast event unearths rugby talents

- By ERONI TUINUKU

CORAL Coast sevens tournament major sponsor McDonald’s Fiji has praised the organisers of the annual event in helping improve 7s rugby in Fiji.

McDonald’s Fiji managing director Marc McElrath said the annual tournament continued to unearth raw Fijian 7s talents.

The four-day tournament at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka, ended on Saturday.

Police team from Suva retained the title after overcoming a spirited Namatakula Village team called Ratu Filise 17-14 in the men’s cup final.

McElrath said it was a match between David and Goliath because of the comparison in the financial and technical support behind the two teams.

“It’s great to see a village team such as Ratu Filise which does not have the resources that some other big teams have in urban areas, come into this tournament and showcase their talents,” McElrath said.

“Coach Baber was sitting in the tent . “I think he may have picked up some names from these teams and Ratu Filise nearly made it, but the Police team was a bit better.”

Meanwhile, tournament director Jay Whyte was impressed with the final and how 7s rugby has evolved through the years in Fiji.

“The four days is just a great example of how great the quality of rugby in Fiji is,” Whyte said.

“To see a Police team go up against a village team and the difference was the lineout, shows the talents we have.

“Our goal has always been about unearthing raw talents and I thank the sponsors, organisers, officials, securities, The Fiji Times and the spectators for a brilliant four days of rugby sevens at its best.”

Meanwhile, Sigatoka River Safari Henibua defeated USA Falcons 17-12 in the shield final, Raiwasa Taveuni beat Fijian Shangri-La’s 19-10 and Uluinakau beat Red Wings 21-12 in the plate final.

Rugby legends such as Rupeni Caucaunibu­ca, former New Zealand 7s skipper Karl Tenana, former England 7s captain Ben Gollings, former rugby dual internatio­nal and Fijian Lote Tuqiri, and the late Jonah Lomu’s family, were guests of the tournament.

CORAL Coast sevens tournament major sponsor McDonald’s Fiji has praised the success of the annual event in helping improve Fiji 7s rugby.

McDonald’s Fiji managing director Marc McElrath dubbed the final on Saturday at Lawaqa Park as a match between David and Goliath after Police edged Ratu Filise 17-14.

He said it was a final to remember seeing a village team eliminatin­g top teams to reach the final.

"It's great to see a village team Ratu Filise which does not have the resources that some other big teams have in urban areas come into this tournament and showcase their talents,” McElrath said.

"Coach Baber was sitting in the tent and I think he may have picked up some names from these teams and Ratu Filise nearly made it, but Police

team was a bit better."

Meanwhile, tournament director Jay Whyte was impressed with the final and how sevens rugby has evolved through the years in Fiji.

"The four days is just a great example of how great the quality of rugby in Fiji is,” Whyte said.

“To see a Police team go up against a village team and the difference was the lineout, shows the talent we have.

“Our goal has always been about unearthing raw talents and I thank the sponsors, organisers, officials, securities, The Fiji Times and the spectators for a brilliant four days of rugby sevens at its best."

Meanwhile in the Shield final Sigatoka River Safari Henibua defeated the USA Falcons 17-12, Raiwasa beat Fijian Shangri-La’s 19-10 and Uluinakau beat Red Wings 2112 in the plate final.

The event included some rugby legends.

 ?? Picture: JONA KONATACI ?? Anare Saurara of the Fire team faces the tough Tabadamu defence during the quarter-finals of the McDonald’s Fiji’s Coral Coast Sevens at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka on Saturday. Police won the 2020 edition after beating Ratu Filise 17-14 in the final.
Picture: JONA KONATACI Anare Saurara of the Fire team faces the tough Tabadamu defence during the quarter-finals of the McDonald’s Fiji’s Coral Coast Sevens at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka on Saturday. Police won the 2020 edition after beating Ratu Filise 17-14 in the final.
 ?? Picture: JONA KONATACI ?? Karl Tenana, back, with children during a break at the McDonald’s Fiji’s Coral Coast Sevens at Lawaqa Park on Saturday.
Picture: JONA KONATACI Karl Tenana, back, with children during a break at the McDonald’s Fiji’s Coral Coast Sevens at Lawaqa Park on Saturday.

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