The Fiji Airways Fiji Men’s Sevens team has successfully defended their title as the Oceania Rugby Sevens Champions after defeating the All Blacks Sevens team in a thriller 17 points to 12 in sudden death.
The Women’s Competition also Australia regaining their title from New Zealand by holding on till the dying minutes against arch-rivals.
The Tonga Men’s team came away with a sweet victory over the Cook Islands at 5th place, qualifying them for the Hamilton, Sydney and the Hong Kong leg of the World Rugby HSBC World Sevens Series (HSBC WSS). The Cook Islands Men’s team also have qualified for the Hong Kong leg of the HSBC WSS.
The Women’s Competition saw Fiji take out third place over Papua New Guinea and Samoa defeating Cook Islands by 10 points to 5. The upset of the tournament belonged to the Samoan Men’s team that took out third place ahead of the Australian Men’s team through the determination shown by the young Samoan squad.
Samoa Men’s Captain Tomasi Alosio said that the team were disappointed about their earlier loss to Fiji in the Semi-Finals, but they regrouped well to put out a valiant effort to come out 3rd in that playoff.
“It’s a great feeling to come and win and we knew we had to show great character to win after a disappointing loss to Fiji. To come out and beat Australia in the dying minutes was very pleasing,” Alosio added.
PNG WOMEN QUALIFY
The PNG Women’s team has made it to the Sydney and Hamilton leg of the HSBC WSS and also qualifying for the Hong Kong 2019/2020 HSBC WSS qualification tournament after their third and fourth place playoff against the Fiji Airways Fijiana Sevens team.
Coaching the PNG Women’s Team at his first International Sevens Tournament, Paul Tiejtens said that their goal was to qualify for the Sydney 7s and HSBC Series Qualifier in Hong Kong.
“There’s been a lot to learn from the tough games we’ve played this weekend. It looks very promising moving forward for the girls to have an opportunity for qualifying on the Circuit,” Tiejtens said.
FIJI MEN WINS AT SUDDEN DEATH
With the crowd behind them and the rain just clearing for the pinnacle event, the winds were in the favour of the home team as they denied the current Rugby World Cup Sevens and Commonwealth Game Champions a win in Fiji.
With Fiji leading by 5 points with only a minute to go in the second half, New Zealand scored again to level the points but failed to convert them which ultimately cost them the game.
With an electric atmosphere and warranted expectation, the Fiji Airways Men’s Sevens team rose to the occasion and brought their fans to the edge of their seats, much to the great effort put in by the All Blacks Sevens team.
With a constant change in possession, Fiji finally found their connection and was able to conjure up a try and close off the game to successfully defend their Oceania Rugby Sevens Championship title.