Fijiana Makosoi will be up against some stiff competition, at this years Crest Na Iri Women’s competition that is a part of the Mana Whey Coral Coast Sevens. Local teams, as well as invited players; like Swiss and USA stars, will look to boost the chances of the Striders side, at the 2018 Fiji CC7s comp.
The leading International rugby sevens tournament across the South Sea Islands, the women’s cup starts this Thursday as all teams chase the $20,000 prizemoney at the 2018 Fiji CC7s. Played at the popular Lawaqa Park, in Sigatoka – the spiritual town of Fiji rugby, who will be host the event. Entry is free for the four day tourney, with parades and festivals that culminate on Saturday/Sunday.
Beside the festivities and entertainment, all eyes are on the fields of play. With the Uprising Youth tournament beginning today, tomorrow the Crest Na Iri sponsored competition will be split into three pools of three teams. Pool K has Fijiana Mokosoi, Stars Rugby and Blue Light Sisters. Japan SDS leads Pool L with Nadi Blazers and Hot Springs Savusavu. Striders lead Pool M with Nadi Aviators and the invitational Hong Kong squad.
With so much on the line, and the Sydney Sevens world series event next weekend, everyone is excited to have the focus on the best players from the Islands, and beyond. Vinaka!
Swiss and USA Stars boost ‘Striders’ Chances
Switzerland XVs International Angela Stadelmann is one of the overseas-based players that Striders have brought in. The Swiss player joins United States sevens star, Bulou Sala Mataitoga.
Striders (a local team from the Suva Rugby Union) will certainly be the team to watch, with the likes of Fijiana XV’s openside flanker Mere Moto in the squad. It is a team with experience, coached by the respected Tavaita Rowati.
Striders have also brought players from the local Raka 7s Women’s champion team Marist Seahawks. The likes of Talica Vodo, Joma Sera and Roela Radiniyavuni who are all former Fijiana reps. Paulini Korowaqa, a former sprint queen adds her speed to the mix.
Pool M – Hong Kong, Striders, Snax Nadi Aviators
Hong Kong have named some very experienced players. They are serious about their growth i the game. The experience of playing at Womens World Cup in Ireland will help them here.
The Nadi Aviators will be the unknown quantity, but with local supporters cheering them on, anything could happen.
But the Striders club, are the ones to watch here at the 2018 Fiji CC7’s.
Pool K – Fijiana Mokosoi, Stars Rugby, Blue Light Sisters
Priscilla Siata and Esiteri Bulikiobo will spearhead the 2017 title holders, Fijiana Mokosoi. They will be assisted by Fijiana squad members in Jiowana Sauto and Aloesi Nakoci. A good squad, but their trump card will be the nippy Mereula Torooti.
Stars Rugby will be relying on the experience of Mahalia Murphy. Canadian Sevens squad members Pam Buisa and Sabrina Poulin also add depth. They will try to take another win over Fijiana–Stars defeated Fijiana at the pool stages of the 2017 Central Coast Sevens.
#starsrugby7s rosters for @Coralcoast7s have 7 countries represented! The thing we❤️ about touring rugby is bringing together diverse players, sharing culture & traditions. USA, Canada, Fiji, NZ, Australia, Germany, South Africa #starsfamily! 🇺🇸 🇨🇦 🇫🇯 🇳🇿 🇦🇺 🇿🇦 🇩🇪 pic.twitter.com/FLPtTHmlqA
— StarsRugby7s (@StarsRugby7s) January 13, 2018
Blue Light Sisters will use the tournament as another learning opportunity, but will have some great support.
Pool L – Japan SDS, Nadi Blazers, Hot Springs Savusavu
Japan have named a very young but determined side; like we witnessed last year. They will be aggressive, despite their size. The game is stronger than ever in Asia, and with the 2019 RWC inspiring men and women, expect much from the popular SDS group.
The young Japan team will be out to gain experience during Crest Na Iri women's competition at the Mana Whey Fiji Coral Coast 7s. #FijiNews #TimesSports #FijiRugby https://t.co/mpovzlV9U9 pic.twitter.com/zQ2oH1y7wg
— The Fiji Times (@fijitimes) January 16, 2018
Nadi Blazers can rise to the occasion when they want to. Coach Trevor Cleary will be trying to go one better, after their final loss at the Raka 7s.
Hot Spring Savusavu are the lone side from the North. They will be out to turn the heads of Fijiana selectors, so are highly motivated–as are all the women playing at this years 2018 Fiji CC7s.
Can Fijiana Mokosoi retain their 2017 Title?
Standing tallest at the 2017 Mana Whey Coral Coast Sevens, it might well be a second-string Fijiana side (missing their big stars, who are preparing for Sdney) however, they have the firepower to battle any side.
On the other hand, Stars Rugby, Hong Kong and Japanese squad pose the biggest threats. Striders on their day can be very clinical, but conditions and crowd support may well play it’s part.