Tough test for national players in Malolo

THE DM Matamanoa Black team with Fiji Airways national 7s coach Gareth Baber after winning the Turnbull Namamanuca Primary School 7s tournament at Yanuya on Friday. Picture.MACIU MALO

FIJI Airways national 7s coach Gareth Baber said it was good to see the national 7s players pushed to their limits during the Turnbull Namamanuca Primary School 7s tournament in Yanuya, Malolo on Thursday and Friday.

National players Kalione Nasoko, Sevuloni Mocenacagi, Apenisa Cakaubalavu, Waisea Nacuqu, Vatemo Ravouvou, Terry Tamani and Alasio Naduva featured for the DM Matamanoa Black 7s team that walked away with the $3500 winning prizemoney.

Also joining the national reps were Kitione Taliga and new 7s find Napolioni Ratu Nasalo. Baber who was invited by the 7s organisers, said he was impressed with the level of competition during the two-day tournament.

He said he also witnessed some players from other teams that he had been following in recent local 7s tournaments.

“It was good to observe the many talents in Fiji, obviously in the Yasawa and the Mamanucas,” said Baber.

“The national reps were pushed all the way which was good to see.

“I was impressed with the level of competition during the semi-finals and the final.”

Baber also selected Wadigi Salvo flyer Ben Ratudina as the player of the tournament.

“Wadigi played well and they have some good players in that team who have been consistently performing in locals 7s competition.

“The team also played in the Wadigi 7s final in Lautoka a few weeks ago.”

Baber said he would continue to hunt for new talents through local 7s tournaments.

“I will continue to keep an eye on these players and put them under pressure.”

Baber has roped in a few new players in the national training squad to prepare for the new HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series season.

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