Fiji Time: 2:16 PM on Saturday 28 November

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7s heat is on

Rashneel Kumar
Saturday, March 08, 2014

OFF-field incidents stole the limelight on day one of the 38th Fiji Bitter Marist 7s at the ANZ Stadium in Laucala Bay yesterday.

But it failed to dampen the spirit of the players and teams that fought tooth and nail to keep the attention of about 4000 spectators on the play.

The off-field drama started with a false alarm which forced players, spectators and officials to be evacuated to safe grounds. Play was suspended for about 20 minutes.

After inspecting the stadium, National Fire Authority officers confirmed it was a false alarm.

And if the fire drill was not enough disruption to what was building up to be an exciting round of games in the elimination stage, the blackout later in the evening gave another break to the tournament.

The floodlights went off because of some technical problems, halting the Police and Saint Theresa Savusavu match by about 10 minutes.

However, the games finished on time.

Despite the off-field issues, chairman of the Marist 7s organising committee Lawrence Tikaram said day one was a success.

He said they recorded a better turnout compared to past years.

"It just brought more excitement to the tournament. The fire drill was a good one, it clearly showed there are areas of improvement we can work on," Tikaram said.

"I commend the spectators and fans for following very clearly the instructions provided to them which show there is good harmony at the stadium. We hope all goes well in the tournament."

Tikaram also called on the rugby fans to come out in numbers and witness what would be a champagne rugby today.

"The stadium is in an excellent and top condition and the teams are being looked after well. I think people just need to come down here and catch the real action."

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