Fiji Babaas downs Saunaka in final

January 20, 2024 5:54 pm

A first-half dominance was enough for the Fiji Babaas to lift the McDonalds Fiji’s Coral Coast 7s title with a 22-5 win over Saunaka in the final.

Fiji Babaas scored three tries in the first seven minutes.

The Babaas stepped up in the final after falling to Saunaka14-7 in pool play.

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Sevuloni Mocenacagi scored the first points of the final after Ropate Rere kicked the ball from a loose carry by Saunaka which Pilipo Bukayaro picked up and gave to the big prop who crashed over the line.

Rere then went in for Fiji Babaas second with some brilliant work by Kaminieli Rasaku who had a quiet tournament but showed up in the final.

The Babaas put a lot of pressure on Saunaka under heavy conditions and got their reward just before the break when Rasaku dived on a loose ball inside the opposition try-line.

Saunaka who last won a title in 2012 at the Vatukoula 7s in 2012 came back firing when former Fiji 7s squad member Petero Ratumaitavuki outran Rere to score their first.

National rep Josese Batirerega was sent off early in the second spell for two minutes due to a high tackle.

Josese Batirerega

However, Saunaka failed to capitalize as Terio Tamani’s vision paid off when he chased his own kick to score.

Some Saunaka players really stood out in the competition like prop Lasaro Bogisa, rover Akuila Momo and winger Ratumaitavuki.

Army prop Waisale Leiroti and Ravuka hooker John Masi also had an outstanding tournament.

Meanwhile, both the Fiji Under 20 and women’s shadow national team Mt Masada failed to win any title.

Mt Masada lost to New Zealand’s Matakesi and Fiji U20 went down to a spirited Dominion Brothers outfit in the finals.