THE national sevens team dedicated the Gold Coast 7s tournament victory last night to the people of Fiji, saying it was their way of marking Fiji Day celebrations.
The Digicel-sponsored side successfully defended the title they won in 2011 after defeating New Zealand 32-14 at Skilled Park Stadium here in Robina.
In what was a repeat of the 2011 final, Fiji proved too strong in defence, forcing turnover balls against a New Zealand side that was rattled throughout the tournament.
Namosi speedster Alipate Raitini scored an impressive hat-trick while Joji Raqamate crossed over twice. Raqamate also picked up the Player of the Tournament award.
New Zealand's points came through tries to Tim Mikkelson and Kylem O'Donnell.
Fiji led 17-7 at the breather.
The win sees Fiji collect 22 HSBC IRB Sevens World Series points to take an early lead on the standings, three ahead of New Zealand (19) and five of South Africa (17).
An elated Fiji captain Lepani Botia was overwhelmed with the win.
"First of all I want to thank the Lord. I also thank the Fiji supporters that turned up today and those at home, they must also be thanked for supporting us all the way," Botia said.
"This win is for them. This is our way of saying thank you and happy Fiji Day. I also dedicate this win to my son (Lepani Jr) who is about one-month old."
Botia said New Zealand gave them a strong game and congratulated them for the reaching the final.
"The boys gave their bodies on the line and we came out victorious," the Wardens captain said.
"We can never counted New Zealand out. They came back at us all the time. They have experienced players like Tomasi Cama, DJ Forbes and Lote Raikabula and they were strong.
"But we knew how to tackle them. They also came for victory but we were not going to hand it to them." Meanwhile Raitini and Ragamate were named in the Gold Coast 7s tournament dream team."
The Gold Coast dream team consists of Tim Mikkelson of New Zealand, South Africa's trio of Frankie Horne and Tshotso Mbovane and skipper Kyle Brown, Raitini, Ragamate and Kenya's Dennis Ombachi.
The Fiji sevens returns home tomorrow. The next stop on the series is in Dubai on November 30 to December 1.