The Fiji Times » Love for Rugby 7s – Glorious and Fun Rugby Sevens Weekend
Ben Gollings had a dream start to his 7 year coaching career with the 7 year old national team. After missing the second leg of the HSBC WRSS in Malaga and Sevilla, Ben led Fiji to victory in the tournament Fun Flavor Oceania 7s which featured the All Blacks and Australia.
He had his eyes on young blood and they rewarded his confidence in style.
Gollings preferred to work with former Fiji 7 and 15 star Viliame Satala with whom he shared memorable playing days in Japan.
Star 7 playmaker Jerry Tuwai was also on hand to lend his support to the Englishman who hopes to emulate the success of Ben Ryan who guided Fiji to back-to-back HSBC WRSS overall titles and the Gold Medal. gold from the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Gollings is on the right track and I am confident he will make history in Toulouse and London with a relatively new squad.
Four rookies named for
Singapore and Vancouver 7s
Four rookies have been named to the Fiji 7s squad for the Singapore and Vancouver 7s tournaments.
Crafty Army half-back Filipo Bukayaro, sensational fire-speed dealer Vuiviawa Naduvalo, lanky winger Tira Wilagi and Police Blue striker Josevani Soro were the new faces.
Wardens skipper Tevita Daugunu captained the team and was assisted by senior players Waisea Nacuqu, our towering attacking force in Josua Vakurinabili and two-time Olympic gold medalist Jerry Tuwai who returned to the international stage after the Tokyo Olympics.
Gollings had plenty of time to assess player abilities through the Fun Flavor FRU Super 7s series and the Fun Flavor Fiji Rugby Mini International 7s.
The squad for the Singapore and Vancouver 7s tournaments included Josua Vakurinabili, Joseva Talacolo, Jeremaia Matana, Vuiviawa Naduvalo, Tira Wilagi, Tevita Daugunu, Elia Canakaivata, Iowane Raturaciri, Filipo Bukayaro, Waisea Nacuqu, Kaminieli Rasaku, Jerry Tuwai, Iowane Teba and hit-man Josevani Soro.
Nacuqu captures 100 tries on the circuit
Waisea Nacuqu is no stranger to international rugby, having earned his break in 2013 under former manager Ben Ryan. Fans can never forget his dream run in Tokyo in 2014 when he scored a scintillating try against South Africa in the final.
He was declared the best player in the 2018 Singapore 7s final. He won the 2018-19 HSBC WRSS overall title. In the local 7s scene, he became a key player alongside Police Blue. Nacuqu is also a gold medalist at the Olympics.
Our nippy halfback played 183 games for Fiji, scoring 103 tries and 785 points. Wise, as he is affectionately known, is a game breaker and has scored game-winning tries at times.
He is well known for his speed and his ability to break through the opposing defence. Nacuqu, from the village of Votua in Ba, scored his 100th try against England in the Vancouver 7s and mesmerized fans with his footwork.
He was greatly missed in the final which Fiji lost to Pumas 29-10.
Daugunu wins on debut
tournament as captain
Tevita Daugunu, captain of Natadra Young Boys, Raiwasa Taveuni and the Wardens team, made his national team debut in Dubai last year. Like any other Fijian, donning the white jersey was his dream.
Despite major injuries, he continued to try to earn a place in the national team of 7. His role model is Jerry Tuwai. Daugunu played for the Natadra team in the Fiji Bitter Savusavu 7s tournament in 2018 and won the tournament.
He played at full-back for RKS in the U-19 category and was shortlisted for Fiji U-20 trials for a tour of South Africa, but was dropped. He then joined Wardens.
He lost one of his biggest supporters, his mother, when he was in 10th grade and three years ago he lost his father.
Daugunu paid tribute to his wife (Adi Karalaini Tokalaulevu) and his children – Israel, Disala and Maraia, who is named after his mother, for being his strength.
He overcame challenges to lead the team to victory in Singapore in their first tournament.
He dedicated the victory to the children, who celebrated Palm Sunday, and to the late Peni Veidreyaki.
Daugunu’s inspiration comes from his brother Filipo Daugunu, who plays for the Reds.
Flamboyant Fijians get horny
Fiji became the first three-time HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens champions after outscoring the All Blacks 7s 28-17 in the Cup final amid a raucous crowd at the National Stadium on Sunday night.
The reigning Olympic champions, who had already won in Singapore in 2006 and 2018, stamped their authority on their equally illustrious opponents, who made their first appearance at the HSBC WRSS 2021/22 after missing the first four stages due to the travel restrictions related to COVID-19. .
Our boys missed the previous two matches in Spain due to COVID-19 outbreaks in their squad, but they were lightning fast in attack and fierce in defense to claim the memorable victory, a successful turnaround from a loss in their opening pool match to Ireland 21-12.
Fiji beat France and Japan 26-19 and 62-0, respectively, to top the group.
In the quarter-finals, Fiji edged South Africa 19-14, then trailed Australia 12-7 at half-time, before mounting an emotional fightback to overpower their rivals 19-12.
The Fijians’ dominating performance in the first half sealed an epic win in the final. It was one-way traffic for Fiji in the first half of the final.
Tries from Vuiviawa Naduvalo, Waisea Nacuqu and Joseva Talacolo gave Fiji a 21-0 at half-time and although our main rivals made a comeback in the second half, Naduvalo, who made a massive statement, added a another attempt to keep the Kiwis at bay. .
The victory was a gift for our children who celebrated Palm Sunday. Jerry Tuwai and Vuiviawa Naduvalo were part of the 2022 Singapore 7s Dream Team.
Argentina breaks its 14th birthday
drought on the circuit
The Argentinian team coached by Santiago Gomez Cora played with a lot of confidence. Their last victory on the circuit dates back to 2009 at the San Diego tournament when they beat England 19-14.
They were there to break their winless spell on the circuit.
Thus, their baptism of fire drowned our attack and our rhythm. The Pumas had beaten Ireland 26-19 and Scotland 24-5, but drew France 12-12.
In the quarters and semis, Argentina beat England 40-17 and outclassed the Australians 24-12, and with the likes of Rodrigo Isgro, German Schulz, Felipe del Mestre, Santiago Vera Feld, Lautaro Bazan Velez , Tobia Wade, Marcos Moneta, who was their best player, Joaquin de la Vega, Agustin Fraga, veteran Gaston Revol, Luciano Gonzalez and Franco Sabato, the Los Pumas took a 17-5 lead at the break.
They extended their lead to 29-10 with two lightning tries, and when the final whistle concluded the coaching panel and players shed tears of joy as they claimed their third HSBC WRSS Tour title.
Fiji remained unbeaten in the pool stage, posting huge scores against England (27-12), Kenya (38-7) and USA (33-12). After beating France 26-19 in Singapore, we overtook them 24-21 to stage a mouth-watering semi-final against Samoa who we beat 45-5.
However, we were outclassed by Pumas in the final.
Nand’s experience at the Vancouver 7s
Sabdhya Nand is a passionate and loyal fan of Fiji 7s. He is from Waiqele, Labasa – a colony of sugar cane growers.
He emigrated with his family in 2003 after their land lease was not renewed.
Although he left Fiji, he follows the performance of the 7s team and has never missed the Vancouver 7s. Nand lives in Squamish, about 65 km north of Vancouver, British Columbia.
Watching the 7s on TV got him excited to attend the games one day, so as soon as the announcement of the first Vancouver 7s was made, he quickly organized his group and bought tickets on the day. of its sale.
His family decided to stay in a hotel near the stadium so that they could attend all the matches without worrying about driving back and forth.
According to Nand, the atmosphere is electrifying at BC Place and his love of rugby sevens draws him to the stadium every year.
He even attended the Vancouver 7s last year 2021 when Fiji did not participate. Nand shared that the Fiji 7s team was just amazing to watch and it was a proud moment for him to see our boys perform at their best on the biggest stage in the world.
He added that the boys are very knowledgeable and a great group to talk to and share ideas with. Jerry Tuwai is Nand’s favorite player. He felt that the team had done very well and despite the loss, all Fijians in the stadium were happy with their performance.
He thinks the team did a great job and he is confident that this team will be impressive in the future. He bet on the team to win the Toulouse and London 7s tournaments. Nand and his family will cherish the times spent with the Fiji 7s team in Vancouver.
- RAJNESH LINGAM is a regular contributor to this newspaper. The views expressed are his own and not those of this newspaper.