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Matai scores winner

Maciu Malo
Sunday, April 13, 2014

RUSIATE Matai was the toast of the Police team when he scored the winning try to help the Manasa Bari-coached side to defeat Yamacia 22-19 in the final of the 27th Fiji Bitter Marist 7s at Prince Charles Park yesterday.

Police was trailing 15-19 in the last stages of the game when the Tavua flyer raced away 40 metres beating two defenders to dive over for the side's winning try.

The much needed win has also materialised after the earlier comments made by team coach Manasa Bari in an interview with Time Sport.

Bari said he wanted to prove Police's dominance in the 7s game after failing to win any major tournament for the past months.

And the former national rep has dedicated the win to the sons and daughters of police officers as they celebrated Palm Sunday today.

Bari said the players had the burning desire to win the tournament for their little ones.

"This win is dedicated to all police officers' children celebrating Palm Sunday," he said.

"The boys were inspired to win the title for our little ones and I thank the boys for a job well done.

"I am also satisfied that we have achieved our goal.

"As I have earlier stated our goal for this tournament is to prove Police's superiority in the local 7s tournament.

"We fell short at the Marist 7s where we lost to Wardens in the final and we have proven our status at the Nawaka 7s."

Bari also commended the Yamacia brigade for their gutsy performance.

He said Yamacia was one of the top 7s teams in Fiji armed with some talented players.

"Yamacia is a champion team and they gave us a good battle in the final," said Bari.

"They have some players that are capable of donning the national jerseys."

Yamacia scored the first try of the game from speed merchant Mosese Mawalu before Police try scoring machine Samisoni Viriviri hit back with a try.

The Semi Kunatani-led side replied with two quick tries to increase their tally to 19 points.

Police flyer Apisalome Waqatabu registered his name in the try scoring sheet to take the scores to 19-15 in favour of Yamacia before Matai's displayed sheer pace to seal the game.





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