Ratu Filise reigns

RATU Filise was crowned 2017 Raka 7s winners after defeating First Light Taveuni 15-12 at the ANZ Stadium yesterday.

The Navosa-based team was back to winning ways after a lapse of 10 years as they finally found their rhythm.

Coach Etika Tovilevu was a happy men as he cheered seeing his players perform wonders on the field.

Mana Whey Coral Coast champions First Light Taveuni scored the opening try from Glen Cakautini and the conversion from Tevita Daugunu was successful as they led 7-0.

Ratu Filise returned the favour with a try from the captain Levani Tani with the conversion unsuccessful to close the gap 5-7 to end the first half.

Jone Qorovakarua of Ratu Filise scored their second try and the conversion was unsuccessful to take his team’s score to 10-7.

Ratu Filise was on fire as they scored another try but were denied because of a knock on but they regrouped to score their third try from Mesake Seavula and the conversion from Ropate Labalaba was unsuccessful to extend their lead 15-7.

However, the boys from Taveuni never gave up as they continued the fight and managed to score their second try. It was not converted and too late as the final whistle sounded.

Tovilevu said they had been trying for 10 years to win one of the biggest tournaments in Fiji.

“The boys came out with a win which was unexpected,” he said.

“I told the boys to give in their all for the last seven minutes of the second half and to remember the seven weeks of training and sacrifice that we’ve made, which I think the boys took it in well and gave their all.

“We changed our game plan and opted to run against them and we managed to come out successful. Our next plan now is that since we were supposed to go down to the Coral Coast next week, I’ve told the boys to take a break and relax and concentrate on the tournaments next year.”

He thanked the support back at home in the village especially the players’ families who had been the backbone of the team.

Ratu Filise surprised Police White in the semi-final winning 17-14 while in the quarter-final they defeated Police Blue 22-17.

The team walked away with $25,000 as their prizemoney and their captain Levani Tani was awarded the player of the match.

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