Rugby queens | Suva retains Marama Championship title

The champion Suva women’s rugby team. Picture: WATA SHAW

Reigning ANZ Marama Championship winners FMF Suva women’s rugby team has successfully retained their title after defeating Namosi 30-18 at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori yesterday.

Namosi had beaten Yasawa 36-22 at Prince Charles Park, Nadi last week while Suva thrashed Navosa 48-5 to book their spots in the finals.

The Capital City team led 15-8 at half-time with three tries against Namosi who managed to score one try and one conversion.

Namosi came back stronger in the second half to score two tries but Suva scored another three tries to wrap up the match.

Suva got on the scoreboard through tries to Maria Rokotuisiga, Adi Mereani Rogosau and Ana Moceura.

Suva women’s senior women and U19 team coach Meli Tuifagalele said both the U19 and senior teams played “their hearts out” and made the entire Suva team proud.

“The U19 came up short today and the girls gave it their all, but Nadi was just a better team today – but that’s how rugby is, you win some and you lose some,” he said.

He added the senior women’s team had been preparing over the past few months and was proud of the end result.

“We came off the blocks, started strong and in the last 10 minutes we fell away, but I thank the girls for holding on strong in the last minutes and coming out with the win.

“The girls will go back , have a couple of months off while some of them will prepare for national duties.

“We start again with our off-season program again in October.

“To our fans and our sponsor FMF, thank you very much for coming on board and providing a platform to showcase women’s rugby not only in Suva but all over Fiji.”

Proud Suva captain Vuli Saumi dedicated the win to former Fijiana 7s coach Elenoa Kunatuba who passed away last month.

She also applauded the hard work of both Suva and Namosi for making it to the final.

“Coming into the finals, we knew it was going to be hard because the Namosi girls have always displayed good skills and that’s what they showed this afternoon (yesterday),” she said.

“It wasn’t easy for us and they really made us run for the money so I applaud them for the effort and a job well done today.”

Vuli said she was proud of her team mates for sacrificing time from work and school to play and they had reaped the rewards of all those sacrifices.

“Some of us juggled work and school together with training. It has been very tough for us but the girls really played their hearts out and I am proud of them.”

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