Underdogs Taveuni Win Coral Coast Sevens for 2017

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January 21, 2017 - Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka, Fiji. Mana Whey Coral Coast Sevens winners Taveuni claim the crown for 2017 (Photos courtesy of Nick Jordan, CC7s)

The Mana Whey Coral Coast Sevens came to an exciting end, as ‘Underdogs’ Taveuni win Coral Coast Sevens for 2017. They overcame last years finalists Wardens, to win 12-10. Congratulations go to the tiny Island team who have surprised, and delighted all in Sigatoka, Fiji.

The four day tournament was an undoubted success, as many new stars of the game were unearthed. With a star-studded media and livestream broadcast team taking the game to the world. it was certainly a Sevens event to remember, as the two best teams fought it out for the title.

The crowd finally turned up on the final day, to take advantage of the free admission made available by organizers. With it, they enjoyed every minute of all the games on display. The Hong Kong and Germany sides received the biggest cheers, as fans appreciated the effort all sides made on Day Two of the men’s competition.

By the days end, First Light Taveuni captain Lemeci Tulele walked away with the ‘Player of the Tournament’ award–and it was well placed. For his part, the Army team’s Alosio Nadua was the ‘Top Try Scorer’ as the event came to a close. Defending champions Police walked away with the Plate. Saunaka claimed the Bowl, while the Uprising team settled for the Shield.

Underdogs Taveuni Win Coral Coast Sevens

Play maker Lemeci Tulele was the main architect of Taveuni’s victory at Lawaqa Park, in 2017. Their game revolved around him, where he orchestrated their go forward ball and marshaled their defense. His early break in the opening stanza of the final led to their first try and he made the best impact–at the the best time; in the final.

Leone Lomaloma who opened the scoring, added a second minutes later for a brilliant 12-0 lead over Wardens. However, indiscipline crept into Taveuni’s game and they were reduced to six men as the referee made his presence felt. With a man in the bin, Wardens took advantage and pounced, and they went to the break trailing 5-12.

The Wardens started the second half like they ended it, with another try to their play maker. Both of their tries were unconverted though, enabling Taveuni to hang on and win a riveting cup final, 12-10.

Police Finish the Day as Plate Winners

They came into the tournament as favorites but finish the day as Plate winners. The defeated the Central Coast Sevens runners up Uluinakau Babas 19-17.

Police who had the services of former Fiji Sevens reps couldn’t recover from their loss on Day One to Army. They were thrown out of the Cup contention be giant-killers Taveuni. Their quarterfinal match brought the crowd to their feet as the Island boys won 19-5.

They had Sitiveni Waqa, Manu Laqai and Livai Ikanikoda all past Gold Coast Sevens winner with Fiji. Also in the team were Josevata Bole, Eroni Vasiteri and Eroni Sau. They just couldnt handle the fitness and great understanding from the Garden Island boys.

Saunaka Wins Bowl Final

Saunaka, who looked lost on Day One, finally found their rhythm to win the Bowl. They overcame a spirited German side 21-19. The Germany men will go back happy with all they have learned in Fiji, in a relationship that could benefit each over time.

“Jacobus Otto has been a local cult hero” is how commentator Sean Maloney described the big German. He was everywhere in the last two days, spending time with both spectators and media. Marcel Coetzee, the South African born player, was also a standout for the team. But Saunaka will only be slightly pleased with the Bowl, as they entered the competition as favorites.

Uprising Takes Shield back to Deuba

The team from the ‘Fiji Sevens’ base camp, Uprising walked away with the Shield title. They defeated BLK Iron Courage 28-12. BLK had the services of Fiji Sevens squad member Emosi Mulevoro and Banuve Tabakaucoro. Tabakaucoro is the sprint king of the South Pacific Islands, so his assistance was invaluable in claiming the shield.

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Day Four Mana Whey Coral Coast Sevens Results

Bowl Quarterfinals: Germany 17 BLK Iron Courage 14|Daveta 14 Coastal Roos 7|Hong Kong 22 Uprising 10|Saunaka 26 Outrigger 7

Cup Quarterfinals: Army 17 Yamacia 0|Wardens 29 Uluinakau 12|Yasawa 17 Ratu Filise 15|Taveuni 19 Police 5

Bowl Semifinals: Germany 20 Daveta 19|Saunaka 19 Hong Kong 17

Plate Semifinals: Yamacia 7 Uluinakau 14|Ratu Filise 14 Police 26

Cup Semifinals: Wardens 19 Army 5|Crows Nest Yasawa 10 Taveuni 17

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“Main photo credit – Mana Whey Fiji Coral Coast Sevens 2017 Facebook page”

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