In a commanding performance, Police shred Tavenui to claim the 2018 Mana Whey Fiji Coral Coast Sevens title. The long-established Police side, reversed last years results, and went on a rampage to ‘shred’ Tavenui 34-7 in the men’s Cup final.
Defending champions Taveuni had no answer to the Police team. With tries galore, it was a fitting finale to the four-day tournament at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka, Fiji. The crowds enjoyed the action, from Thursday through to the final matches this afternoon.
Overseas sides could only reach the bottom tier of the tourney, but are grateful to learn from the best exponents of the game; Fiji. Hong Kong and Stars Rugby of USA will go away with all they have learned, and definitely be back to enjoy more CC7s in the future.
In the Women’s competition, there were three overseas sides in the semifinals. However, it was the local Striders team of Fiji, who bounced back from their dismal performance on Day One. See the results further down this article.
Police Shred Taveuni to claim Coral Coast Sevens title
The star-studded Police side had too much power, which the defending champs could handle. Led by skipper Sitiveni Waqa and Keponi Paul from the front, it was a group effort together with Meli Kurisaru and Rusi Matai providing the support and confidence at the back.
POLICE DETHRONE TAVEUNI IN SIGATOKA
Police eased past First Light Taveuni 34-7 to win the Mana Whey Coral Coast… https://t.co/pbTbHMz6q6
— Fiji Coral Coast 7s (@Coralcoast7s) January 20, 2018
However, it was Sakeo Railoa who stole the show. ‘Naturalized Fijian’ and a former Fijian sevens coach Ben Ryan was full of praise for the rugby league convert. Railoa later walked away with the Campese-Serevi ‘Player of the Tournament’ award.
— Ben Ryan (@benjaminryan) January 20, 2018
Dream Team in the Commentary Booth
No matter where you were watching or listening to the tournament from around the world, you would be in awe of the commentary team assembled. A star-studded lineup included recently retired DJ Forbes, Fiji’s former head coach Ben Ryan, and living legend Waisale Serevi.
— Waisale_Serevi (@Waisale_Serevi) January 20, 2018
As well, HSBC Sevens Series and World Rugby top referee Rasta Rashivenge was a part of the team. He was a hugely popular speaker, and the commentary team was completed by NBC’s Brian Hightower.
The tournament continues to grow, with a very professional line-up to call matches and to present all sides with their prizes–and to celebrate the entire week in Sigatoka. Even while Police shred Tavenui to claim the silverware, the entire Mana Whey Fiji Coral Coast Sevens event will be stronger and better next year.
Results: Mana Whey 2018 Fiji Coral Coast Sevens
In the men’s Shield final, it was Outrigger who overcame Hong Kong 19-12. The Bowl title went to Daveta defeating Henibua 12-7.
Wardens were unlucky in the Plate final, losing to Ravuka Sharks 12-10.
In the Women’s tournament; held from Thursday to Friday, the Striders side performed as expected. They defeated the invited Japanese team, on the way to triumphing in the Cup final, against another offshore team; Hong Kong.
In the Plate final, local side Fijiana Mokosoi overcame the Nadi Aviators 22-21. Not where the 2017 cup winners wanted to finish, but with much of their squad rested before the HSBC Sydney Sevens, they still performed admirably.
New Stars unearthed at CC7s
Many new stars were unearthed in the tournament, like Sakeo Railoa of Police. Aminiasi Natuiyaga Jnr and Ratu Peni Wainiqolo of Outrigger, were very impressive too.
A stand-out, was the lanky figure of Tevita Ratuva, of the Ravuka Sharks. And Asesela Ratudamu was also outstanding for Wardens, to show how talent is a constant emerging from the South Seas Islands.
While this may only benefit Fiji, overseas sides will go away taking with them the experience and observing the flair and devotion of local sides. You only learn best, against the best exponents of the game. The Fiji CC7s is where the best ‘put on a show’. And Police, were unstoppable in 2018.