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Dazzling Fijians Thrill Hong Kong 10s

Dazzling Fijians Thrill Hong Kong 10s
UBB Gavekal winger Sakeo Raloa in his way to score in the Hong Kong 10s on April 5, 2018. Photo: Hong Kong Rugby Union
April 07
11:26 2018

Members of the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s extended squad helped UBB Gavekal retain the Bill Burgess Cup at the 33rd GFI HKFC 10s in Hong Kong on Thursday night.

A late try by Fijian Sevens back Leveni Kurimalawai secured a thrilling 24-17 win over a Tradition YCAC side dominated by New Zealanders.

UBB’s Fiji Sevens backs proved the difference as Samu Bale touched down for an early opener, Sakeo Raloa added two tries and Kurimalawai scored the winner after the sides were locked at 17-17 at Hong Kong Football Club.

Representing Top 14 club Union Bordeaux Begles, UBB were surprise winners last year, but this year lived up to their top-seed status as head coach Matt Clarkin– the former UBB captain – led his side to a second successive victory.

“We’re ecstatic,” Clarkin said.

“We knew going back-to-back was going to be an even bigger challenge than coming last year as underdogs. But we thrived on that challenge and the boys showed up hungry and they got the job done”.

“The Fiji guys did for us what they did for us last year, but our trademark is working hard for each other. I think that’s still our strength and I think you saw that in the final. To have three yellow cards against you and still come out on top is a huge feat so I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

The Fijian players are Kepony Paul, Vasikali Mudu, Bale, Kurimalawai and Raloa.

 

HOW IT HAPPENED

UBB ran out to a quick 12-0 lead with tries from Bale and Raloa, before New Zealand’s Angus Gibbens pulled one back for YCAC.

Raloa extended UBB’s lead to 17-5 before tries by New Zealand’s Te Puoho Stephens and Tonga’s Willie Fotofili made it 17-17, but Kurimalawai scored late on to ensure captain Nick Smith was left lifting the Cup.

“It was the same thing as last year: we just came together as a tight unit,” said Smith, who scored four tries from first five eight, while compatriot Renata Tenana also scored four tries over the two days.

“We’re all from different parts of the world, from Fiji, South Africa, New Zealand and Hong Kong, but at the end of the day, it’s how you gel together.”

 

LIST OF WINNERS

Cup Final: UBB Gavekal 24-17 Tradition YCAC

Plate Final: Samurai International 28-7 A-Trade Overseas Old Boys

Bowl Final: Taikoo Place Scottish Exiles 38-7 Hunter + Boo East Africans

Shield Final: Natixis HKFC 17-0 Irish Vikings

Edited by Osea Bola

 

Feedback:  leonec@fijisun.com.fj

 

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