25 March, 2018, 12:00 am
TABADAMU Blue yesterday created history by becoming the first team to win the Fiji Bitter Marist 7s for the fourth consecutive year.
However, they were made to work hard with national 7s squad member Teri Tamani scoring the match-winning try in the sudden death to clinch the win, 17-12.
Police had the upper hand from the first whistle after Tabadamu playmaker Luke Lutunavanua was yellow-carded and this saw the law enforcement officers score two tries to race off to a 12-0 lead at the break.
A game worthy of a final, even Fiji Airways Fiji 7s coach Gareth Baber was kept on the edge of his seat.
From the start of the second spell, Tabadamu retained the kick-off and applied pressure.
Excellent support play and great team co-ordination saw the hardworking replacement winger Abele Yalayalatabu dive over for Tabadamu’s first try.
Tabadamu mounted wave after wave of attack that allowed national 7s training member Apenisa Cakaubalavu to power his way through two Police defenders to level scores at the sound of the hooter.
Halfback Tamani had the chance to win the game for Tabadamu but failed to convert the try which sent them to sudden death.
Former national 7s rep Mitieli Nacagilevu was yellow-carded for a high tackle. Hardworking Lutunavanua crashed his way through and off-loaded to Tamani for the match winner.
Tabadamu player and coach Nasoni Roko said it wasn’t an easy journey for them to defend their title but the boys had proved themselves.
“We had one aim in our mind and thatwas to win the Marist 7s,’ he said.
“For me personally, it’s an honour to play among these younger players who are talented and no doubt they can make it to the national squad,” he said.
Hardworking Tabadamu forward Suliano Volivoli was the find of the tournament this year.