Best in 7s

HISTORY dictates that some of the best national sevens teams have been selected from the Fiji Bitter Marist 7s.

It is for this reason that national coach Gareth Baber said he was out to look for new and explosive talents to join the national squad.

He added the 11 players from his squad released to play this weekend had also been given a chance to prove their worth.

“There are players who are here that in the next 24 hours will showcase their talents and will pick on my brain to have me pick them in the squad,” Baber said.

“I think for the Hong Kong 7s I will pick the boys who have gone back to join their clubs and I know there are players who will be playing in the tournament in Fiji who can put their hands up for the rest of the season, certainly Singapore is a target for those players with potential, then there is France, London and obviously the World Cup as well.”

Baber said he had been impressed with skills set shown by the players.

“I am looking at all players and the 11 that have come in and after the quarter and semi-final we’ll see how they cope with pressure and their fitness level.

“The skill level is successfully high even though we’re experiencing rainy weather but still we keep playing the game that wev love here in Fiji.

He said it was good to see the continuity of the game off-loads and some good defence.

“For the weather like this it’s obviously hard to put the passes in and the passes have good advantage which is good to see and also good to see discipline.”

Defending champion of the Marist 7s champion Tabadamu Blues was made to work hard against Ravuka Sharks as they go through to the second round of the elimination today.

They defeated a spirited Ravuka Sharks 7-5 in their elimination game last night as sudden death was the order of the day at the Fiji Bitter -sponsored 7s tournament. Three sudden death elimination games recorded with last year’s finalist Army Green going down to host team Marist 5-0, Police White survived a last gasp 10-5 victory over former winner Flames Tree Colo-i-Suva while surprised package Pacific Warriors Nairai defeated Ra-based team Southwest Brothers.

FTG Rugby shocked top gun First Light Taveuni 14-12, Nakaiolo from Kadavu defeated last week’s Uluinakau 7s finallist Congo Waimanu 12-10 while Ratu Filise and Wardens recorded comfortable victories.

Police Blues’ last game against Vuna was a walk in the park as they recorded the highest score in yesterday’s elimination 38-0.

The 16 teams that have confirmed their places will again battle for the top eight position for a place in the main cup quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, all teams will be playing again today to determine their placing and their prizemoney and that is the beauty of the Marist 7s.

Top 16 teams: Nairai, Nawaka, Cuvu Blues, Saunaka, Niurua Creative Delta Uprising, Navatuvula, Yasawa, Wardens, Tabadamu Red, Marist, Ratu Filise, FTG, Nakaiolo, Tabadamu Blues and Police Blues.

First elimination results:

Pacific Warrior Nairai 5- Southwest Brothers 0

Bumbble Bee Duavata Young Boys 5- Nawaka 7

PNG Pukpuks 5- Cuvu Blues 17

McDonalds Saunaka 17- Army Red 0

Niurua Creative Delta Uprising 19- Yaqeta Turtle 7

Navatuvula Rugby Club 24- Cousteau 0

Yasawa 17- Cavaliers Nadi 5

Wardens Rugby 24- St John Namena Natovi 0

Elim Brothers 5- Tabadamu Red 7

Army Green 0- Marist 5

Police White 10 – Flame Tree Colo-i -Suva 5

Ratu Filise 29 – Skaffworks 0

First Light Taveuni 12 – FTG Army 14

Congo Waimanu 10- Nakaiolo Brothers12

Tabadamu Blue 7- Ravuka Sharks 5

Police Blues 38 – Vuna 0