Fiji crowned champions of inaugural Hamilton tournament
February 4, 2018 7:00 pm
The Fiji Airways men’s 7s side has been crowned the champions of the Hamilton tournament.
The side beat arch rivals South Africa 24-17 in the final at the Waikato Stadium.
It didn’t start well for the side – as Josua Vukurunabili was shown yellow card minutes into the game.
Alasio Naduva scored Fiji’s only try in the first half.
Blitzboke led 17-5 at the half time break.
Naduva then completed his hat-trick scoring two more tries in the second half.
Eroni Sau hammered the last try for the Fijians minutes away from full time.
Captain Jerry Tuwai says, it has been a hard fought victory for the team.
“First of all I would like to thank the god for the strength and the win today. All the glory goes to him and right now I’m speechless as we have a very young team coming through the series. I’m really happy with the guys on how they performed, it was a team effort.”
Coach Gareth Baber says, it has been a tough journey for the team to register a win on the World Rugby Sevens Series circuit.
“They are a new side. I mean they are not the side which came here last year. There has been a huge number of changes in the squad but the players are now coming in and out. It has been a process and it’s been over four or five months getting these players where we need them.”
Alasio Naduva, who was the player of the final says it has been a dream run for him.
“I want to thank the lord for giving me the strength. I want to thank my family, my mother who is here with my uncle in the crowd and my dad back at home and my family.”
Eroni Sau who had an outstanding performance in the final says it’s great to win in front of such a huge crowd.
“It’s a different feeling specially to win my first tournament in the series. It’s amazing playing with the experience players who guided us well in the tournament and it feels good to win.”
Meanwhile, Fiji has created history by wining the first ever inagural Hamilton tournment lastnight.