SPORTS

Our Night In Hamilton

Fijians on top of Series Standing, DHL Impact Player, UL Excellence Award, Dream Team, Series top try scorer   The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team have joined USA at top
28 Jan 2019 10:00
Our Night In Hamilton
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s veteran halfback Seremaia Tuwai says a prayer after scoring twice in the New Zealand 7s Cup final against USA at the FMG Stadium, Hamilton on January 27, 2019. Photo: Bruce Southwick/ZoomFiji.

Fijians on top of Series Standing, DHL Impact Player, UL Excellence Award, Dream Team, Series top try scorer

 

The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team have joined USA at top of the 2018/19 HSBC World Sevens Series after retaining the New Zealand 7s title last night.

In the Cup final, the Kalione Nasoko captained- side thrashed USA 38-0 in front of screaming Fijian fans at the FMG Stadium in Hamilton.

The victory means the Fijians have draw level with the USA at the top of the world series standings with 57 points.

New Zealand follow on 54 before a 10-point gap down to South Africa in fourth.

At the end of this year’s 10 rounds the top four teams will qualify automatically for the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan 2020.

Nasoko said the victory was only made possible through divine intervention.

“We’re also grateful to our fans at home and also those who are here,” he said.

“Once again thank you all for your support and prayers. This win is for you all.”

 

AWARDS

It was a night of celebration for the Fijians when veteran halfback and Olympian Seremaia Tuwai got the Player of the Final award while head Gareth Baber received the UL Excellence Award on behalf of the team.

This was for the act of sportsmanship ahead of the Cup final as Fijian  players lifted the ball girl high into the air while they said their final prayer..

“It was obviously very special (to win back-to-back) and I want to say a big thank you to all the Fijian fans.

“They certainly lifted the team today and we appreciate everything you’ve done for us.

“We just keep carrying on. It’s hard work, it’s perseverance, it’s belief in each other and belief in the Lord.

“But most of all, it’s about believing in all the people back in Fiji and the mark of excellence is for all the children we see playing in Fiji,” Baber said.

 

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

For the first time four Fijian players were named in the HSBC Hamilton 7s Dream Team. They are Nasoko and Derenalagi in the forwards while the backs were Aminiasi Tuimaba and Vilimoni Botitu.

The DHL Impact Player of the NZ 7s was topped by Botitu- 13 tackles, 6 breaks, 7 offloads, 20 carries with a total of 46 points.

Also, Alasio Naduva is the Series top try scorer with 15 and closely followed by Tuimaba with 14. Tuimaba was one of the top try scorer in the New Zealand 7s .

The Fijian 7s team will leave for Sydney, Australia today to prepare for the Sydney 7s, which kicks-off on Friday.

 

RESULTS (FINAL)

13th Place: Tonga 33-10 France, Challenge Trophy Kenya 7-36 England, 5th Place: Samoa 19-24 Scotland, Bronze: South Africa 7-29 New Zealand

 

– Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback: leone.cabenatabua@fijisun.com.fj

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