2017 UON Cup: Fiji Barbarians Seek Redemption Against Aussie Gold

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Central Coast Council
October 25 - Australia's most prestigious rugby sevens festival outside the World-Series featuring premier domestic and international competitors in men ad women's tournaments. (Photo courtesy of CC7s Facebook page)

The 2017 UON Central Coast Sevens is building up to be one of the toughest tournament of the 2017/18 Sevens circuit. It will be cracking tournament again, as Fiji Barbarians seek redemption against Aussie Gold for the 2017 UON Cup Men’s competition.

This will be the second tournament that the two sides have gone head-to-head in, after the Oktoberfest Sevens. The Aussies were comfortable winners in that tourney–so expect the boys from the Islands to want to redeem themselves.

The three-day tourney will be held at the Wyong Rugby League Club from October 27-29. Youth teams kick-off the tournament on Friday, with Men’s and Women’s competition proper running on Saturday and Sunday.

“Will be exceptionally strong & exciting. Some big teams are here to prepare for the World Series, and they are here to win” says Craig Morgan, Tournament Director.

For fans of the game, Sevens is more fun when the ground is ‘hard and fast’. Looking at images (above) and feedback from organisers, the weather is improving. Now, it’s up to the fans to bring their support and build on the wonderful spirit that is always on show in the game of Sevens.

Quick tap for origins of Rugby Sevens

Australian Men Playing for HSBC Sevens Series Spots

The Aussie Gold team have named a star-studded lineup, including the new kid on the block Maurice Longbottom. He will bring some energy and vitality to the expected favourites.

Beside him will be HSBC Sevens Series regulars, like John Porch, Tim Ainstee and Sam Myers. It is a trial, with player fitness a positive outcome over the weekend–a Cup would be nice too though!

Jesse Parahi will lead Aussie Green, with Olympic gold medallist Jerry Tuwai leading the Fiji Barbarians opposite them, in the 2017 UON Cup.

Fiji Barbarians Seeks Redemption Against Aussie Gold

The Baabaas will be confident, after reaching the finals in Munich, so if anything, the opposition of the Island Breeze, Australian Universities, and Sunnybank teams will be good preparations.

The talent within each and every side is enough for the price of admission. But for fans who cannot get along to the UON CC7s Cup personally, the next best thing is the livestream. Be sure to tune in for the starting matches, and follow the action over the day. The CC7s will have updates on Facebook, Twitter and all over the net.

cc7s will be the ‘main attraction’ this weekend, for Sevens fans.

2017 UON Cup: The Lowdown

Pool A (Australia Gold, Star Rugby 7s, Tabadamu, ACT Brumbies)

Aussie Gold are favourites in Pool A, but will be tested by Tabadamu and Stars Rugby. Longbottom will be one to watch in the Gold side, together with Anstee, Myers and Lachie Anderson.

Former Fiji Sevens captain Setefano Cakau will be leading his young but passionate Tabadamu brigade. Stars Rugby have a ‘United Nations’ look about them (US and Australian selections) with the Brumbies a bit of an unknown quantity.

Tabadamu squad:

  • Samisoni Vereniki, Sevanaia Cirikisuva, Jiosateki Tuilawaki, Emori Waqa ©, Sevuloni Bailey, Darren Caulton, Setefano Cakau, Abele Atunaisa, Demesio Elia, Luke Rokato, Aloesi Qio, Inoke Rokotolu

Pool B (Fiji Barbarians, Island Breeze, Australian Universities, Sunnybank)

The shadow Fiji side have reinforced the team that went to Munich. Tuwai will lead the side, with experienced Olympians in Api Domolailai and Vatemo Ravouvou. Mesake Kunavula will be one to watch, together with cross-code convert Banuve Tabakaucoro and Samu Bale.

Local Fijian side Island Breeze who have been winning tournaments in Australia, will challenge the Barbarians, Aussie University team and locals Sunnybank.

Fiji Baabaas

  • Apisai Domolailai, Apenisa Cakaunibalavu, Paula Dranisinukula, Elia Conakaivata, Sevuloni Mocenacagi, Mesulame Kunavula, Jerry Tuwai, Waisea Nacuqu, Vatemo Ravouvou, Samu Bale, Alekesio Vakarorogo, Batinisavu Uluiyata, Banuve Tabakaucoro

Aussie University Uniroos

  • Justin Fourie, Hugh Taylor, Jackson Bird, Fraser Toohey, Morgan Steyn, Ben Crerar, Matt Dowsett, Ethan Miller, Rohhan Zebib, Brandon Boumelhelm, Michael Docker, Yirrbi Jaffer Williams

Pool C (Uluinakau, West Harbour, Stallions, University of QLD)

Stallions are the talk of the tournament, as they have the offload king Pio Tuwai. Combine that with the strength of Antonio Kiri Kiri and Johhny Kawau, you have a very formidable forward pack. Phoenix Nofoa and fellow Samoan 7s stalwart Tila Mealoi will be their key playmakers.

However, don’t count out last years finalists Uluinakau, as they will be seeking redemption too. West Harbour are a local team who Jesse Parahi says ‘are very good Sevens team’.

Stallions squad:

  • Antonio Kiri kiri, Pio Tuwai, Johnny Kawau, Penitoa Finau, Tautalatala Tasi, Mike Tela, Pierre Pisi, Tila Mealoi, Phoenix Nofoa, Sanivalati Ramuwai, Leone Cama, Veresa Mataitini

West Harbour

  • Henrik Anthony, Pateresio Beramaisuva, Brendan Post, George Corias, Kodie Drury-Hawkins, Jeremiah Fa’amausili, Justin Marsters, Kali Nacina, John Ryan, Luke Senigasau, Jack Sullivan, James Turner

University of Queensland

  • Matthew McCormick, Harry Curtin, Mak Singh, Clifton Setu, Connor Clancy, Nick Weller, Kim Henderson, Wyatt Setu, Nathan Russell, Coen Oates, James Barrett, Harry Parker
 *At time of publishing, no information on Uluinakau was available.

Pool D (NSW Waratahs 7s, Toloa, Aussie Green, Iconz)

Jesse Parahi’s Aussie Green side could win this weekend, but don’t count out the Waratahs team. Tongan side Toloa is the surprise package, and if they ‘turn up’ they can be very competitive.

On the other hand, Donny Du Randt’s Iconz side will test some nerves come competition day.

Aussie Green

  • Jesse Parahi (c), Tom Connor, Sam Croke, Jeral Skelton, Dan Martine, Matt McTaggart, Locky Miller, James Armstrong, Josh Turner, Henry Cluines-Ross, Matt Hood, Greg Jelodev.

NSW Waratahs squad:

  • Allan Tuigamala, Blake Rixon, Harry Leddy, Hunter Ward, Jack Pennington, Jale Seninawanawa, Jaline Graham, Josh Petero, Kiwi Kapene-Belcher, Matt Stead, Ofa Siale, Sam Forgarty

Iconz

  • Donny Du Randt, Dimitry Chipizubov, David Yabsley, Derek Oram, Siaosi Finau-Lealifano, Liam Horne, Brad Jones, Mila Lalatoa, Brayden Law, Josh Walker, Hayden Sargeant, Corbin Kiernan.
*At time of publishing, no information on Toloa was available.

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Can the Fiji Barbarians find redemption?

That is the question. And the only people who can really answer that, are Jerry and his lads. The Baabaas have the support of the Sevens Series team, and all their friends, family and supporters. Vinaka!

Stallions will challenge both the Aussie Gold and Fiji Baabaas. On the other hand though, Uluinakau and Tabadamu are strong–together with Aussie Green, who will be out to take scalps [and secure spots for the Dubai Aussie squad].

A repeat of the Oktoberfest Sevens final is on the cards.

Day One Fixtures: Main draw – Saturday October 27

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Who will come out of Day One 2017 UON Cup leading is a tough call. Most teams will want to be sure there are no injuries, that players are rotated and that each team member goes through a thorough recovery process.

That important element is almost scientific today, with the use of cold baths, ice and heat pads, massage, physiotherapy and everything from ice blocks, electrolyte drinks and pineapple used to keep up Glucose levels.

*All games from Saturday will broadcast LIVE on Livestream. Click HERE for the link.

Day Two Fixtures: Sunday October 28

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Some of the favourites might succeed in reaching Day Two finals, but as fans have come to learn …”expect anything on the day”. Good luck to every side.

Follow all the results and updates from 2017 UON CC7s Cup with LWOR.

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*All graphics and images of the UON Central Coast Sevens courtesy of Craig Morgan and Team.

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