Island News

Marist Rugby in 7s heaven

Written By : Isaac Mow marist Rugby. When Tomasi Cama (Junior) was a rugby player at Marist Rugby Club he never dreamed that one day, from the humble beginnings of
26 Feb 2011 12:00

image Written By : Isaac Mow marist Rugby.

When Tomasi Cama (Junior) was a rugby player at Marist Rugby Club he never dreamed that one day, from the humble beginnings of the ground at Marist Brothers’ High School (MBHS), it would catapult his career into international rugby.
After one of the rugby tournaments in Wellington, New Zealand which coincided with the Wellington 7s, Cama was scouted by New Zealand scouting freak Gordon Tietjens. The rest is history.
Apparently on their way back from that tournament they began to spread the 7s culture and this is how the Marist Sevens has become more like a carnival.
In the past while Marist Rugby Club focused more on rugby development this year the organising committee decided to give something back to the people who have made this tournament a big success – the fans who turn up on the day.
At this year’s Fiji Bitter Marist 7s carnival on March 4-5, there will be more fans in their colourful outfits and armour. It will be a tournament not only for the rugby players but for the fans as well.
Club president Bill Mar said: “We have been focusing on the players and the clubs and the unknowns for too long, while leaving out the most important components of the tournament the fans who cheer their teams on.”
“While keeping rugby in mind we have decided to include rewarding the fans for turning this event from being simply the biggest sevens tournament to being the biggest sevens carnival in the world.
“We know that a number of groups of old scholars would do their best to outwit their rivals off the field in their best costumes as they vie for handsome prizes and they get to drench their thirst at the Marist Rugby Club after the game at a preferred time.
When you do make it to the ground organisers have also asked people to observe and be part of the new ritual ‘Fijian Wave’ (as opposed to the Mexican Wave which features people’s hands) which includes umbrellas, hats, newspapers, the odd child and tee-shirts. Currently Marist Sevens offers the highest rugby prizemoney to date with a whopping $50,000 in total and to the winner goes a handsome $25,000.
The 35-year-old sevens sponsorship from major sponsor Foster’s has just got bigger this year and MRC is honoured to uphold this long standing partnership probably one of the longest in any rugby sevens tournament.
For the third year Post Fiji is sponsoring the Under-19 rugby sevens competition, another highlight of the competition that has just gone into its fifth year.
Companies like Shipping Services, Williams & Gosling, Ricoh Business Solutions and Compac have been service providers for the event for over a decade. In the media Fiji Broadcasting Corporation is the official Radio Station, Fiji Times is the official newspaper, Coca-Cola is the official soft drink provider, while Fiji TV is the official television company.
This does not mean that other media outlets get different treatment on the day. All media personnel will have to register for appropriate tags and identification cards, which gives them access to certain parts of the stadium and venues during the tournament.
Women and oldies rugby teams will also feature, adding spice to the whole event.
The village teams are understood to have begun their gunu sede to gain entry into the tournament next weekend.
“It has been evident that many teams from villages in remote places have been doing humble fundraising events like gunu sede and kaji to rake in the needed cash to make the trip to Suva,” the club president said.
“This shows the passion that some teams have in this country for sevens rugby and Marist salutes these people.
“We would also definitely show our appreciation for the major sponsors Foster’s Group Pacific Ltd for continuing our relationship in developing sevens rugby in Fiji.
“Then the other sponsors whom are mentioned above play their own big part in making this event truly, sevens heaven.
“We thank them too and wish everyone a happy Marist Sevens carnival – be there and even the fans become winners.”
With top teams like Red Rock, Fiji Barbarians, Army, Wardens (defending), Waimanu, Police and Ratu Filise confirming participation, we are assured that overseas teams will get their fair due. New Zealand Marist continue a strong Marist tradition at the event with the Samoa Barbarians, New Caledonia, Auckland Marist and Japan teams confirming their participation too.
At this Marist Sevens carnival, rugby is not the only winner – the fans stand to share the spoils too. Be there!

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