Rugby 7s history
27 March, 2018, 12:00 am
My letter in Saturday’s The Fiji Times titled “Four in a row” focused on Fiji aiming to lift the Holy Grail of 7s four years in a row and my pick for the Commonwealth and HK 7s.
Little did I know that the Tabadamu Blues led by rising captain Luke Lutunavanua, old war horse and rugged flyer Nasoni Roko, King Pin Teri Tamani, top try scorer Samu Bale, impressive Ben Cakaubalavu, find of the tournament Suliano Volivoli and veterans Jone Vota and Abele Yalayalatabu would help Tabadamu notch their fourth Marist 7s in a row.
The final was a game of two halves the first dominated by Police and the second by Tabadamu Blues. Tabadamu did not give up and showed glimpses of brilliant running rugby and great comeback.
Thanks to Fiji One I was able to witness a fun, flair and full of entertaining rugby. Even Gareth Baber had a wonderful time watching the final.
Police deserves a round of applause for putting up a gallant fight despite the loss. Kitione Taliga was a class and if the former playmaker can shed a few kilos he should be ready to contest the playmaker’s berth in the national 7s side.
I also feel that tireless Police captain Sitiveni Waqa and Keponi Paul deserve a place in the 7s extended training squad. As the tournament concluded I accord my heartfelt congratulations to the winners — Nakaiolo Kadavu (Shield), Police White (Bowl), Wardens (Plate), Marist Seahawks and the organisers for a wonderful organisation.
Finally, Gareth Baber named 13 heroes to fly Fiji’s flag in Commonwealth. From my pick in Saturday’s side Railoa, Siti and Nacuqu missed the cut but “The Beast” and Viriviri got the nod and Baber has rated Olympians Kunatani and Viriviri highly ahead of the Commonwealth Games 7s.
As I wait for the naming of the 7s team to Hong Kong 7s, I believe it’s time for history in the making. We can win our fourth HK title and our first Commonwealth Games gold medal. Fiji has a wealth of talents.
Let’s assemble our best team to the Happy Valley as victory there will put Fiji in the driving seat to win the 2017-18 WRSS. Other nations could field the same squad for the HK and Commonwealth 7s or send a weak team to HK and send the best side to Gold Coast. Excitement is hard to contain as the countdown begins. Toso Viti toso!