Fijian 7s surprise
25 October, 2016, 12:00 am
ULUINAKAU and Ratu Filise rugby 7s teams surprised other top teams that participated at the Central Coast 7s in Sydney on the weekend.
Despite falling short of their target of winning top honours that was won by the Australia national 7s team, Uluinakau gave the Aussies a good run for their money in the tough final where the host narrowly won 24-21.
Tournament director Craig Morgan said these two teams performed extremely well despite being laced with many young players compared with other renowned Fijian teams such as Coral Coast 7s champion Police, World Club champion Daveta and the star-studded Hideaway Hurricanes.
Morgan, however, was pleased with talents displayed by all the Fijian teams.
“There were mixed results for the Fijian teams Daveta were rocked on day one with NSW eliminating them from cup qualification, Police and Hideaway looked strong on day one but couldn’t capitalise on day two,” he said.
“Ratu Filise surprised everybody and had the potential to go on but didn’t get across the line. Uluinukau thoroughly deserved their place in the final they were fit and battle ready.
“Ratu Filise was exciting to watch and performed very well..”
Morgan said all Fijian teams were worthy contenders and commanded the respect of all teams.
“It was too hard to pick standout individuals, Uluinukau were strong across the park and Ratu Filise were determined.
“All of the Fiji teams are worthy opponents and were highly respected, it is widely known the very best Fiji teams compete here and are the teams to beat.”
Morgan said Australia also exposed some new talents that had stepped forward to stamp their mark for the next HSBC World 7s series.
“The national program are bringing through several younger players after some of the established team members have gone on to pursue Super Rugby and XVs opportunities.”
“It’s exciting to see the next generation coming through. It will be tough on them but we believe they can achieve great results.
“They will give their best and will develop over the next couple of years which bodes well for the team in the mid to long term,” he added.
Police, Hideaway Hurricanes and Tabadamu all bowed out in the quarter-finals while Daveta and Newtown failed to reach the quarter-finals. Newcomer Ratu Filise was beaten by Uluinakau 19-7 in the semi-final while Australia downed NSW in the other semi-final.
NSW defeated Ratu Filise 17-10 in the third and fourth play-offs while the Setefano Cakau-led Tabadamu side won the Plate final.