HANDLING errors, off-sides, high tackles and missed tackles are the normal aspects of sevens rugby but not for a team like Fiji. However, it was exactly what we got to see from the Digicel Fiji 7s team as they won two and lost one of their remaining three round robin games at the Pacific Mini Games in Wallis and Futuna. Fiji beat Papua New Guinea 24-5 then lost to Samoa 12-19 and then demolished New Caledonia 40-0. After that they met Tonga in the semi-final which they won 24-5 to advance to the final.
Referees officiating at the rugby sevens tournament have welcomed the introduction of the trial of the new scrum laws at the Pacific Mini Games. Top Fiji referee James Bolabiu says the scrum is designed to reduce neck injuries. He says teams should adapt to it as this may be used in the new IRB Sevens Series. He says mistakes at scrum time were seen in most games.
Youngest member of Team Fiji Apimeleki Tuicaucau will be taking back home a gold medal after his team won the team gold for hobie cat sailing. 14-year-old Tuicaucau, sailing partner Graham Southwick and Shayne and Torika Brodie had the best overall tally on points. This also means that he is the youngest person to win gold in the Pacific Mini Games.
Announcements during the Pacific Mini Games in Wallis and Futuna were made in English for the games but things got interesting yesterday when the so called announcer became a commentator in the rugby sevens final. More amusing than informative, the person did not know the names of the players so he resorted to jersey numbers. He got so involved in the game that Benito Masilevu's dummy pass not only fooled the Samoans in the final but also the commentator.
Sam Moses of volleyball was the only other technical official from Fiji apart from the rugby referees. Moses was brought in by the Wallis and Futuna Olympic Committee and he has been officiating since Day One of the Pacific Mini Games. Moses highlight of the Mini Games was being the referee for the men's gold medal play-off between Papua New Guinea and Wallis and Futuna.