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Wardens reign

Emoni Narawa
Sunday, March 16, 2014

WARDERNS Gold added another $5000 to its sevens coffers after winning the Red Rock 7s tournament when they crushed Uluinakau Babas 25-12 in the Cup final at Nausori's Ratu Cakobau Park yesterday.

Last week, the side bagged $10,000 at the 38th Fiji Bitter Marist 7s tournament in Suva and yesterday added the Sireli Bobo Trophy to its trophy cabinet.

It was lanky playmaker Jone Naucabalavu who ignited the Wardens side to clinch the inaugural Red Rock tournament after Uluinakau made a strong start from the opening whistle.

Towering forward Sakeasi Kakaivalu caught the Wardens players off their feet from kick-off to score the opening try for an early 5-0 lead.

Naucabalavu then sparked Wardens comeback with two early tries to put them on track for the top prizemoney.

Experience was a key factor for the Fiji Bitter Marist 7s champion, which had the services of former Flying Fijians number eight Asaeli Boko and regular campaigners Sevuloni Rakula, Niko Verekauta and Epeli Natuivau.

Uluinakau struggled to contain Wardens and could not find the rhythm which had propelled them through during the elimination stages, thrashing First Landing 22-10 and Tabadamu Two 36-0 in the semi-final and quarter-final respectively.

Former national sevens rep Risiate Tadulala scored Wardens third try late in the opening spell to extend their lead 15-5 at the breather.

Uluinakau bounced back early in the second half with a try to nippy playmaker Bale to narrow the deficit to 12-15.

However, Wardens responded with two tries to replacements Daniele Tabuakuru and former Northland forward Niumaia Bari to settle the score at 25-12.

Tournament organiser Malakai Yamaivava said the Cup final lived up to its expectation.

"It was an even contest but I think Wardens was the better team at the end of the day," he said.

"Congratulations to them for winning and I believe we witnessed some more talented and upcoming rugby stars during the two days."

In other finals, Marist won the Shield competition after edging Seniboro 17-14, Police scooped the Bowl beating Waimanu 19-5 while Tabadamu thrashed Newborn Waibasaga 24-0 to settle for the Plate.








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