SPORTS

Glorious Fiji Top

The Vodafone Fiji 7s side reigned supreme at the 2014 Gold Coast 7s after beating a formidable Samoa in the Cup final last night at Cbus Stadium. Head coach Ben
13 Oct 2014 10:37
Glorious Fiji Top
Jerry Tuwai on attack in the Cup final against Samoa yesterday. Photo: Martin Seras Lima

The Vodafone Fiji 7s side reigned supreme at the 2014 Gold Coast 7s after beating a formidable Samoa in the Cup final last night at Cbus Stadium.

Head coach Ben Ryan was thankful for the win and the support from fans in the stands and back home and true to character, insisted there was still room for improvement.

“It was a rollercoaster final but we hung on in there. We are by no means the finished product. I feel at home in Fiji and we are grateful for all of the support back in the country.”

Player of the Tournament and top try-scorer captain Osea Kolinisau credited the win to divine guidance and dedicated it to the country in honour of Fiji Day.

“We knew Samoa were a good side. I kept saying we just need to get one ball and score to end it. Thankfully it worked out. We are a lot fitter than last year.”

Domolailai kicked off Fiji’s bid in the opening minute after completing a successful pass by an elusive Jerry Tuwai with Setefano Cakau following shortly. Semi Kunatani tallied the next try with Cakau nailing the lead to put Fiji out of reach 26-0.

Fautua Otto put Samoa back in contention for the Cup with a dazzling try at halftime to put them on the scoreboard 7-26. The Samoans gained momentum in the second half with veteran Lolo Lui scoring the first try on their road to recovery.

Siaosi Asofolau brought his side closer to contention with another try after breaking the Fijian defense but it was Tila Mealoi who closed the gap on Fiji with a try right under the goal post to bring Samoa up 24-26.

It was Jasa Veremalua though who powered through in the final minutes with a spirited dash to the try line to seal victory for Fiji.

Kolinisau was also named in the Gold Coast dream team alongside teammates Semi Kunatani and Jerry Tuwai. American Zack Test, Englishman Alex Gray, Argentinean Santiago Cordero and Samoa Toloa rounded up the team.

Fiji now gets a strong head start in the race being undertaken by the 16 core nations to book one of the four automatic qualifying spots to Rio 2016, and as the dust settles in Brisbane, all teams turn their attention to the 2014 Dubai 7s where Fiji will defend the title on December 5-6.

Points Standing: 1.Fiji 22, 2.Samoa 19, 3 England 17, 4. South Africa 15, 5.NZ  13, 6.Argentina 12, 7. Australia 10, 8.Wales 10, 9. USA 8, 10 France 7, 11. Portugal 5, 12 Scotland 5,13. Canada 3, 14. Kenya  2 15. American Samoa 1, 16.Japan  1.

2014 Dubai 7s Pools: A: Fiji, Argentina, France, Brazil; B: Samoa, New Zealand, Scotland, Japan; C: England, Australia, USA, Kenya; D: South Africa, Wales, Portugal, Canada.

Feedback: eroni.tuinaceva@fijisun.com.fj

 



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