SPORTS

Making Hamilton Our Own

The fans brought Fiji to Hamilton on the weekend. The Fijian supporters took the Waikato FMG Stadium by storm in two days of sublime sevens rugby show as Fijian rugby
29 Jan 2019 10:00
Making Hamilton Our Own
Fiji fans at the FMG Stadium.Photo: Bruce Southwick/Zoom Fiji

The fans brought Fiji to Hamilton on the weekend.

The Fijian supporters took the Waikato FMG Stadium by storm in two days of sublime sevens rugby show as Fijian rugby became the centerpiece of the tournament.

When the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s stars ran into the field the crowd erupted into chants of Go Fiji Go or Toso Viti Toso.

The cacophony of sounds and a sea of blue right around the ground made it feel like we were at the ANZ Stadium in Suva or Churchill Park in Lautoka.

From the moment the Fijians ran onto the field, the singing of the national anthem and the hoisting of a little girl with a rugby ball by the reps, the Fijian banner blue flew higher than any other flags across the ground.

Fijians from here in New Zealand, across the Tasman and Fiji came in big numbers to support their champion team.

This was a special Fijian crowd, represented by diverse cultures and ethnicities and interests coming together in unity in a great exhibition of patriotism. Kalione Nasoko paid tribute to the fans for their support. He was spot on. Without their support the team might have struggled.

South Africa were completely stunned by the overwhelming Fijian support. They could not be blamed if they thought they were playing in Suva and Lautoka because all they saw were blue in the grandstands.

United States in the final also had similar experience.

The Fijian fans were the life of the Hamilton tournament. After win against Canada in the quarterfinal the stands emptied out as Fijian fans went for their break. The stands were filled again before the semifinal and final

Hamilton may have hosted the event but the Fijians stole the limelight

Fijian coach Gareth Baber summed it up when he said this the was the best of support they had encountered so far,

Fijian fans are already planning for an even bigger gathering next year.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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