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A 7s tournament with a difference

Kameli Rakoko
Monday, June 30, 2014

DEFENDING rugby champions Westfield Babaas are out to retain their Jezreels 7s title especially with the winner prizemoney going up to $10,000 this weekend on Taveuni.

The tournament will be opened and launched by Ratu Joji Cakobau and prizes will be given out by Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Retired)Voreqe Bainimarama with the total prizemoney for all games at $34,950 to be held Jezreels Park Welagi Village, Taveuni.

The tournament is unique because there are no corporate sponsors and the prizemoney is raised by a group of farmers and members of a prayer group led by Jone Cokanauto.

Teams are also billeted at the homes of the farmers in Vunidawa, Nanuku and Welagi.

On top of that there is no admission.

Cokanauto said there was no organised rugby competition on Taveuni at the moment and he was planning to develop the sevens tournament and finally organise club competition.

There were many rugby talents on Taveuni and there was a need to assist young people to make use of their God-given talents.

According to tournament organiser Solo Naiduki All Blacks first-five Daniel Carter was recently on holiday in Taveuni and held coaching clinics at Welagi ground.

The only corporate sponsor helping out is Fiji Water who will supply $2000 worth of 500mls bottles of water.

"This year Westfield will try and defend her title from the likes of Yamacia who will be featuring two teams the Yamacia Redz and the Yamacia Black, one of which will have players such as Lolo Lui of Western Samoa," Naiduki said.

"Also new this year will be the Davetalevu team from Nadroga. And also confirming their participation is the Wardens team while the hosts will be putting in a combine team who will be called Duavata and at the moment are seeking the availability of Benito Masilevu and Lepani Nabuliwaqa.

"The Jezreels Games is becoming a big festival when last year Ferris wheel from Ba came all the way from Ba to get the taste of the Taveuni cash flow. We were not only having that, we have foodstalls and we operate for a week, throughout the night till you drop…..this year's festival will be from this Saturday (5/7/14) to Saturday 12/7/14.

"The prizes are from the soli from our Lion of Judah Prayer Group members locally and abroad and are totally from the dalo/yams/corns proceeds.

"We do not share this info out of self-pity but just to show that this Jezreels Games is functioned biblically and by faith we succeeded and we will continue to succeed."

The prizes are as follows: Rugby: Cup Winner $10,000, R/U $2000, 3rd Place $1800, 4th Place $1600; 2. Plate winner $1500, runner-up $1300, semi-finalists $1200; 3. Bowl winner $1000, runner-up $900, semi-finalists $800; 4. Shield Winner $750, runner-up $700, semi-finalists $650; 5. Consolation Winner $600, runner-up $500; semi-finalists $400; Best Player $100; Total Prizes: $28,750.00 to be competed for by the 24 teams.

Netball : Cup winner-$2000, runner-up-$1000, semi-finalist-$500 PT; Best player-$100.

Volleyball: Cup winner-$1000, runner-up-$500, semi-finalists-$100, Best uniform-$100.