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First win for islanders

Maciu Malo
Sunday, March 23, 2014

PARADISE Cove Yasawa Stingers thumped Western Wardens 21-7 to win the Veiyasana 7s tournament at Lautoka's Churchill Park yesterday.

The team which was selected by Vodafone Fiji 7s coach Ben Ryan during the Nacula 7s last month is fast becoming a threat to other teams in the local 7s scene.

And after a bowl and plate wins at the recent Martintar 7s and Lomavata 7s tournaments respectively, the islanders have achieved a huge milestone in just their third tournament together.

The side outclassed a star-studded Tabadamu team 22-0 which consisted of big names such as Sitiveni Waqa, Jona Vota and David Batiratu in their pool game to emerge as pool winners.

The Ovini Tuidraki-captained side later walloped Western Suburbs 17-0 in the quarter-final before defeating Islands Electric Bainivanua 12- 7 in the semi-final.

Skipper Tuidraki, flyer Viliame Qio and Sairusi Mali scored Yasawa's three tries to Wardens' one in the final.

"These players are selected from different teams in Yasawa and this is only our third tournament together as a team," said team manager Manasa Takala.

"These boys were the standout players during the Nacula 7s and were plucked out by Ben Ryan to compete against the other top teams in the local 7s scene.

"To beat some of the big teams such as Tabadamu and Western Wardens signals a bright future for our boys and we are proud of their achievements.

"Winning this tournament is an emotional moment for the boys as this is their first major win in the local 7s scene."

Takala commended his troops for a job well done.

He also thanked the sponsor Paradise Cove, team officials and the people of Yasawa for supporting the team.

"Without the support of the sponsors, team officials and fans I don't think the team will reach this far."

"Most importantly I commend the boys for their effort."

The side collected $2500 for the win and has set its focus on continuing its fine form at the upcoming local 7s tournaments.





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