McDonald’s Fiji Coral Coast 7s defending champions Army began their title defence with two wins at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka yesterday.
The soldiers hammered Pacific Nomads 45-12 in their opening game but were rattled by Ratu Filise, escaping with a narrow 19-12 win.
Army was trailing Ratu Filise 12-0 before they mounted a spirited comeback, led by last year’s Player of the Tournament Inia Tawalo and 2016 Olympic Games 7s gold medallist Kitione Taliga.
Team manager Jonetani Gonekalou says the side is expecting a tough outing such as the one against Ratu Filise, which will test the boys’ resilience to go the distance in crucial games ahead.
“The second game against Ratu Filise was a bit challenging, as the local team, they are always tough. From the coach’s side, we will see how we can improve but we will count every game as a final.”
Gonekalou adds there are seven players in the squad who hoisted the i-Wau trophy last year after defeating Fire in the final.
Army will take on Yalovata in its final pool game at 3:01pm.