ABC Radio Australia: Pacific Beat - Coral Coast delight as debutants take out the big prize in Sigatoka

ABC Radio Australia: Pacific Beat - Coral Coast delight as debutants take out the big prize in Sigatoka

A team of farmers from the garden island of Taveuni have pulled off a surprise win at the Coral Coast Sevens in Fiji, taking out the cup final on their first appearance in the tournament.

As expected the women's event was won by the shadow Fijiana squad, who brought an impressive run by the visiting Japanese team to an end in the decider.

Pacific Beat's sevens specialists, Nick Jordan, was at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka, to see the action unfold.

Click here to listen online.

Taveuni Complete Fairytale At Lawaqa

Taveuni Complete Fairytale At Lawaqa

The Garden Island of Taveuni is celebrating their status as the Mana Whey Fiji Coral Coast Sevens Champion.

The debutants scored two tries to win 12-10 in a closely-fought Cup final against Wardens and walk away with $20,000.

Captain Lemeki Tulele was awarded the Campese-Serevi Medal for Player of the Tournament.

Taveuni, who qualified for the Coral Coast Sevens via the Final Four in November, made it to the Cup final with an impressive 17-10 win over Crow's Nest Yasawa in the semi final, while Wardens defeated Army 19-5 with a solid performance.

Tulele said this win means everything to the team, their families and their island community.

“We always call them (families) after every game as they watch it on TV back  at home and they go around in the green colours all over Taveuni,” he said.

“We play locally, sometimes we go to Vanua Levu but this is our first time here  - we are really happy.”

Defending champions Police claimed the Outrigger Beach Resort Plate after being beaten by Taveuni in the quarter final while Saunaka won the Tourism Fiji Bowl over Germany.

Germany, one of two international teams which had faltered on the first day, hit back on the second securing wins over BLK Iron Courage 17-14 and Shangri-La Daveta 22-19 before coming unstuck against the Pio Tuwai-inspired Saunaka.

Their win the semi was one of the all-time great comebacks. Scoreless in the first half, the visitors overcame a 19-point deficit to defeat Daveta 22-19 at the final siren. 

Hong Kong went no further than the Bowl semis going down to Saunaka also by two points and missing a conversion on the last play of the day.

Hong Kong RFU High Performance manager Dai Rees was not at all fazed by the team’s performance over the competition  and sang the praises of the tournament overall.

“It's my first visit to Fiji and I’ve got to say this tournament has to rank up with the highest standard across board of all tournaments I’ve ever been to in 14 years.

“The top eight teams here could easily go and compete on the world series and it’s just been a phenomenal experience.

“As a senior manager with the union at Hong Kong I’ll certainly be bringing the players back – and I have an ambition to bring down a junior team and even a women’s team."

Former New Zealand Sevens captain Karl te Nana echoed Rees' comments.

"It really has become a top-class event and the way it’s run, the way the people have come in and supported it from Sigatoka and all over Fiji, I think is a real credit to all the hard work that has gone on behind the scenes," he said.

"There are lessons in the performance of Taveuni that of you’re willing to work hard, believe in each other and do the team work then things will come.  It was a tough Cup final and they showed a lot of resilience and in the end they got the rewards."

Te Nana called the Coral Coast Sevens the premier tournament in Fiji given the eight women's and 24 youth teams that also made up the event.

The MANA Whey Fiji Coral Coast Sevens is proudly supported by Goodman Fielder Fiji, Sigatoka River Safari, Tourism Fiji, Outrigger Beach Resort, Uprising Beach Resort, Shangri-La's Fijian Resort & Spa, The Naviti Resort, Crow's Nest Resort, Gecko’s Resort, Bedarra Beach Inn, Fiji Times, Viti FM and Fiji TV.


I-wau (Cup)
First Light Taveuni 12 Wardens 10

Police 19 Uluinakau 17

McDonald's Saunaka 21 Germany 19

prising 28 BLK Iron Courage 12

Full results and draws are available on 

Fiji Women On Fire On Home Soil

Fiji Women On Fire On Home Soil

The shadow Fijiana women’s team is again the champion of the Crest Na Iri Trophy.

Telecom Makosoi defeated the visiting Japan team 42-7 to convincingly retain the women’s section of the Mana Whey Fiji Coral Coast Sevens.

Expectations had been raised for a tight match with the young Japanese having an unbeaten run over the two days.

But, in a dream final for the organisers, the Makosoi team had other ideas and the Fijian players stamped their authority to hold a 35 -0 lead at half time.  Captain Ana Maria Roqica lead from the front, as is her reputation, to put the hosts in an unassailable position at the break.

Japan restricted the Makosoi to just one try in the second half and scored a consolation try seconds before the final siren.

Japan earlier beat the Jillaroos 29-0 and the Marist Seahawks 26-19 on the way to the final while Mayo Shizu, with nine, was the top tryscorer for the women’s competition.

Former Wallabies captain George Gregan, the tournament’s guest of honour, was impressed with the endeavour of the Japan team.

“It was great to see the Japanese team get to the final; they played some tough games over the last two days and got rewarded with playing in a final,” he said. “But that’s the experience they will get because there are a lot of Fijian national players in that (Makosoi) team and unless you get exposed to that level you don’t understand where you are and they will be the better for it.”

Gregan added that the Makosoi team were deserved champions.

“I was really impressed by their skillset and they fought hard in that final.”

Fijian Women’s XVs captain Lailanie Burnes was also thrilled with the tournament.

The recently-crowned FRU player of the year has strong ties to the Nadi Blazers and supported her team from the sidelines asthey went down 0-48 to Makosoi in the semi final.

“The standard has grown in leaps and bounds and brought that bar up to the next level to now where I’m really impressed with how everyone is performing.”

Mana Whey Sevens Brings Early Surprises

The 16-strong men’s competition began with pool play and there were two stories to come out of the day’s play.

The first was the failure of the international teams – Germany and Hong Kong – to win any matches against the local teams.

Germany’s first game against Taveuni, despite strong support from the local crowd, turned out to be a tough contest. The visitors lead 7-5 at the break but Taveuni struck back with three second half tries to win 17-12.

Germany then went down to Yamacia 29-7 and Saunaka 15-12 to drop to the Bowl.

Hong Kong also suffered a lesson in the local ways as the Coastal Roos ran in seven tries to post a 40-12 win and Ratu Filise scored a 19-5 triumph.

Worse was to follow as 2011 champions Wardens dealt a 43-5 thrashing to Jevon Groves’ men.

The second story of the day is more of a fairytale. Taveuni hails from ‘the garden island’ more than half a day away and is making a debut appearance at the tournament.

Taveuni finished with a perfect record – defeating Germany, Saunaka and Yamacia - and thus ended on top of Pool D to proceed to a Cup quarter final on the final day.

Gregan underlined the fact this team was the surprise packet of the first day for the men.

“They were electric, both in attack and also in defence. You can see they have a good team chemistry and were really the surprise packet and set the standard which sets it up for a really interesting daytomorrow.”

Heading into the final day of the tournament tomorrow and for many the premium day as the men battle it out for the Cup honours.


Army v SRS Yamacia

Uluinakau v Wardens

Crow’s Nest Yasawa v Naviti Ratu Filise

Police v First Light Taveuni

Full results and draws are available on

The MANA Whey Fiji Coral Coast Sevens is proudly supported by Goodman Fielder Fiji, Sigatoka River Safari, Tourism Fiji, Outrigger Beach Resort, Uprising Beach Resort, Shangri-La's Fijian Resort & Spa, The Naviti Resort, Crow's Nest Resort, Gecko’s Resort, Bedarra Beach Inn, Fiji Times, Viti FM and Fiji TV.

Tuvu Crowned Youth Champion In Sigatoka

Tuvu Crowned Youth Champion In Sigatoka

Tuva is the new champion of the Uprising Youth Sevens.

The side defeated King 7s Select 7-0 in a close contest in Sigatoka after knocking out defending champions Lelean Memorial School 12-0 in their semi.

Tuva vice-captain Imanueli Bari was awarded the Lote Tuqiri Player of the Tournament Medal for his strong performances across the two days.

“What stood out for me was, a lot of players you look at their attacking game, but he (Bari) really turned up in defence today stopping a try, he was around the park everywhere - he’s had a good couple of days,” said Tuqiri.

With no score on the board at the break, the second half became an intense encounter resulting in a yellow card for a high tackle just seconds before the final siren sounded.

Former New Zealand Sevens captain Karl Te Nana, who is at the tournament to lend his voice to the broadcast commentary, also has been impressed with the standard of play coming from the teenagers.

“The performance they put on today under pressure, you can’t replicate it and going forward, this will mean a lot to these kids’ careers.”

Tuqiri, the dual international who always comes to town for the Coral Coast Sevens, was impressed with the future of rugby.

“The Youth tournament has been brilliant. There are a lot of young kids on show putting their hands up, showing that the next generation of Fijian sevens players is not too far away.

“Uprising as a tournament is only getting bigger. There’s a lot of interest and it’s a big nursery for Fiji rugby and will only make Fiji rugby stronger.”

The second day finals process sorted out the front runners and by late afternoon the Shield, Bowl and Plate contenders were set.

Bright Tours Natabua defeated Davetalvu 12-5 in the Shield Final while Nadro Academy took out the Bowl with a 24-12 win over AFL Davuilevu Knights.

The Plate Final was a close contest between Uprising and Nadi with the Nadi boys taking the win 12-5 in the end.


The first day of the Women’s competition also kicked off on Thursday with all eyes on the strength of the local Makosoi team, which hosts several of the Fijiana national players, as well as the visiting team from Japan.

Some very large score margins during each Pool round identified the key teams to watch.

Telecom Makosoi, Nadi Blazers and Japan emerged as the main contenders for semi-finals berths with Striders showing some potential.

Te Nana was happy with what he saw from the Fijiana players running around and particularly excited by the potential shown by the young development side from Japan.

“The Fijiana girls impressed but particularly the Japanese. They’ll go into tomorrow with a lot of confidence after today’s wins.”

The second of the four days of the tournament had a bit of everything as the temperature rose despite a late afternoon shower. The crowd was in full voice with plenty of screaming for local heroes as well as the occasional burst of singing.

The tournament was also honoured to host a special guest with Senator Claire Moore, Australia’s Shadow Minister for International Development and the Pacific, visiting Lawaqa Park.

Senator Moore, who has been on the Coral Coast for a Regional Ministers Meeting, was keen to experience the event and took time to speak with several of the local Fijian players as well as the guests of honour, Tuqiri and George Gregan.

Friday will see an early start to competition with the Women playing quarter finals while the highly-anticipated Men’s competition also gets underway.

Full results and draws are available on

The MANA Whey Fiji Coral Coast Sevens is proudly supported by Goodman Fielder Fiji, Sigatoka River Safari, Tourism Fiji, Outrigger Beach Resort, Uprising Beach Resort, Shangri-La's Fijian Resort & Spa, The Naviti Resort, Crow's Nest Resort, Gecko’s Resort, Bedarra Beach Inn, Fiji Times, Viti FM and Fiji TV.

Youth Kick Off MANA Whey Fiji Coral Coast Sevens

Youth Kick Off MANA Whey Fiji Coral Coast Sevens

Tomorrow sees the start of the four-day extravaganza that is the MANA Whey Fiji Coral Coast Sevens.

All eyes will be on the young talent of Fiji on Wednesday 18 January when the much-lauded Uprising Youth Sevens competition opens the tournament in ‘Rugbytown’ Sigatoka

Following the outstanding success of last year’s inaugural youth event the number of teams has ballooned from 16 to 24.

“The Uprising Fiji Beach Resort is partnering with the Mana Whey Fiji Coral Coast Sevens in hosting the Uprising Youth Sevens with a view to provide upcoming players with a platform to show their talents and gain valuable competition time,” said General Manager James Pridgeon.

“At the same time the event helps to develop the future of sport in our rugby-mad nation.”

Under-19 teams from all over Fiji are registered for the two-day competition and, aside from the pride of winning the event, there will also be many out to impress those onlookers watching with more than just a passing interest.

New Vodafone Fiji Sevens coach Gareth Baber is expected to be wandering the boundary at Lawaqa Park.

“It would be remiss of me not to go out and look for quality at tournaments like the Coral Coast Sevens,” said Baber.

Lelean Memorial School return as the defending champions, keen to show that the 2016 result was not a one-off, and will take on Waisiliva in the first game of the day.

Late Thursday the winning team will collect prizemoney of $7,500 and the Player of the Tournament will be awarded the Lote Tuqiri Medal – presented once again by the man himself.

Hailing from the local village of Namatakula, the former international rugby and rugby league icon joins a group of visiting Rugby legends such as the tournament Ambassador George Gregan and former New Zealand Sevens captain and rugby commentator Karl Te Nana.

The Uprising Youth Sevens starts at 10am Wednesday while the senior competition kicks off on Thursday with the Crest Na Iri Women’s Trophy.

The men’s competition featuring Hong Kong and Germany starts a day later.

In an effort to give locals every opportunity to watch the action, organisers have made entry to all four days of competition completely free of charge.

The MANA Whey Fiji Coral Coast Sevens, which was founded in 2010, is proudly supported by Goodman Fielder Fiji, Sigatoka River Safari, Tourism Fiji, Outrigger Beach Resort, Uprising Beach Resort, Shangri-La's Fijian Resort & Spa, The Naviti Resort, Crow's Nest Resort, Gecko’s Resort, Bedarra Beach Inn, Fiji Times, Viti FM and Fiji TV.

Champions Return to Uprising Youth Sevens

Champions Return to Uprising Youth Sevens

Lelean Memorial School will return to the Uprising Youth 7s in Sigatoka eager to show that their success in 2016 was not a one off.

LMS head to Lawaqa Park as defending champions having beaten Tuva Youth 17-14 in the final of the inaugural event in January.

The youth division - a shared vision between the Mana Whey Fiji Coral Coast Sevens and Rene Munch, owner of the Uprising Fiji Beach Resort - has quickly become the richest tournament of its type in the region.

"We are excited to see the finest youth teams in Fiji heading to the Uprising Youth 7s to be played as part of the Mana Whey Fiji Coral Coast Sevens in January," said founding Chairman Jay Whyte. "The Uprising Youth 7s will boast a first prize of $7500 and provides our young players the very best platform to display their skills."

"With the next Olympic Games being in Tokyo 2020 we know how pivotal the identification of the next generation of sevens stars is."

Joining the Lelean side in the 16-team competition are renowned teams like Marist Brothers High School, Ratu Kadavulevu School and Cuvu College.

Whyte expects that the inclusion of overseas youth teams from 2018 will strengthen the division and create a headache for the Fijian sides wishing to be crowned the youth champion of the South Pacific. 

"Our goal is that the Uprising Youth 7s champion will automatically qualify to compete at our partner tournaments in Australia - the UON Central Coast Sevens - and the Samoan Independence 7s,” he said.

The Uprising Youth 7s will be held at Lawaqa Park on 18-19 January 2017.

Confirmed teams:
Lelean Memorial School
Marist Brothers High School
Ratu Kadavulevu School
Cuvu College
Navosa Central College
Ratu Filise
McDonald’s Saunaka
Ra High School
Uprising Youth
Vio Panthers
Davuilevu Knights
Coastline Roos
Tuva Youth
King 7s Select

Asian Champions To Headline Fiji Coral Coast Sevens

Asian Champions To Headline Fiji Coral Coast Sevens

Asia's best teams have been confirmed for the Mana Whey Fiji Coral Coast Sevens in January.

The Hong Kong men and Japanese women will compete as guest sides at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka on January 19-21.

Hong Kong, in the hands of new Fiji coach Gareth Baber, recently won its third straight cup title of the Asia Rugby Sevens Series and with it their third Series title in five years.

Meanwhile, Japan successfully defended their Asian Sevens title when they took out the women's cup at the final event of the season in Sri Lanka.

Japan also won the Hong Kong leg of the three-leg Asian series.

“We are excited to see the finest teams in Asia heading to the Mana Whey Fiji Coral Coast Sevens in Rugbytown Sigatoka," said founding Chairman Jay Whyte. "With the next Olympic Games being in Tokyo 2020 we are sure to see a growth in the game in Asia so there has never been a better time for Fiji, the spiritual home of rugby sevens, to connect with our friends across the sea.”

Asia Rugby is targeting 1 million new rugby participants in the region by the time of Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan. 

Fijian-born Tomasi Lawa, captain Max Woodward and exciting newcomer Jason Jeyam are among the players to watch out for in the Hong Kong side who will use the trip to Fiji to build up for the international qualifier in Hong Kong in April.

"The series title secured Hong Kong’s place in the Hong Kong Sevens and and opportunity to qualify for the HSBC Sevens World Series," said Dai Rees, General Manager of Performance Rugby at the Hong Kong Rugby Union.  "We have won three tournaments on the bounce this season and this group has some quality and can help us get onto the HSBC Sevens World Series, which is where we want to go.

“Playing in a quality tournament such as the Mana Whey Coral Coast Sevens is vital for our preparation and those players that come to Fiji will go a step further in their rugby sevens education."

Hong Kong joins the national team of Germany, reigning champions Police, UON Central Coast Sevens runners up Uluinakau and sponsor teams Outrigger Beach Resort, Uprising Beach Resort, Shangri-La, BLK and Sigatoka River Safari Yamacia as in the 16-strong men's event.

Saunaka, Coastline Roos, Army and Taveuni are alsoconfirmed having qualified in the recent Final Four for local teams.

"We expect to finalise the remainder of the sides - men's and women's - very soon," added Whyte.  "Adding Hong Kong and Japan to the mix of local teams who are looking to impress the Fijian coaches is certain to create a world-class tournament.

"With the Japan women attending the Rio Olympics, and having captain Chiharu Nakamura, Mayu Shimizua and Marie Yamaguchi as seasoned performers on the world stage, it will be great to see them compete alongside Fijiana and the USA Selects in the Crest Na Iri Trophy.

“The game is growing in popularity in schools and universities in Japan and we look forward to witnessing that growth in January.”

The Mana Whey Fiji Coral Coast Sevens, which was founded in 2010, is proudly supported by Goodman Fielder Fiji, Sigatoka River Safari, Tourism Fiji, Outrigger Beach Resort, Uprising Beach Resort, Shangri-La's Fijian Resort & Spa, Crow's Nest Resort, Fiji Times, Viti FM and Fiji TV.

George Gregan 2017 Tournament Ambassador

George Gregan 2017 Tournament Ambassador

Australia’s most-capped Wallaby George Gregan (AM) has confirmed his attendance at the Mana Whey Fiji Coral Coast Sevens in January.

Gregan, who played 139 Test matches for Australia between 1994 and 2007, will be the Ambassador of Fiji's premier rugby sevens tournament and become the latest in a a long list of luminaries on the Rugbytown Walk of Fame in Sigatoka.

Joining Gregan in this experience will be his wife and family who are all looking forward to their Coral Coast adventure.

“After seeing the Fiji team destroy Great Britain in the final of the Olympic Games I was extremely happy to accept this invitation to the tournament," he said. "I visited Fiji not long after Rio 2016 and saw first-hand the incredible pride and happiness the win brought the people,

"Having seen the long list of players who have joined the Fiji team from the Coral Coast Sevens only confirms its status as arguably the toughest tournament outside of the world series”.

Jay Whyte, Founding Chairman of the Mana Whey Fiji Coral Coast Sevens, said:

“We are thrilled to welcome a living legend like George Gregan to our tournament and we are honoured that he has accepted our invitation to be with us for 2017.

"We are very excited that a player synonymous with the game of rugby will not only be our Tournament Ambassador but also join the legends of the game when we unveil his plaque on the world’s only Rugby Walk of Fame."

Previous inductees on the Walk of Fame, which includes a plaque on the main street of Sigatoka, are David Campese, Waisale Serevi, the late Jonah Lomu, Viliame Satala, Ben Gollings, Karl Te Nana and Lote Tuqiri.

The Mana Whey Fiji Coral Coast Sevens is held from 18-21 January at Lawaqa Park and brings together 16 men's and 12 women's teams in a 'champion of champions' format and also features the Uprising Youth Sevens.

The tournament, which was founded in 2010, is proudly supported by Mana Whey, Crest, Sigatoka River Safari, Tourism Fiji, Outrigger Beach Resort, Uprising Beach Resort, Shangri-La's Fijian Resort & Spa, Crow's Nest Resort, Fiji Times, Viti FM and Fiji TV

Rasta to return to Fiji's Coral Coast Sevens

Rasta to return to Fiji's Coral Coast Sevens

Fan favourite Rasta Rasivhenge will feature again at Fiji's Coral Coast Sevens in January.

The 30-year-old, who took charge of the Olympic Games gold medal match last month, first refereed in Fiji in 2014 and will be back for the tournament at Lawaqa Park on 18-21 January.

"I was overwhelmed with the support that I received my first time in Fiji and I can't wait to get back and be part of this special tournament," he said from South Africa. ”"The Coral Coast Sevens was tremendous back then and I really enjoyed it and I am sure the standard will be just as high this time around."

Rasivhenge had the whistle when Fiji thrashed Great Britain 43-7 to win the country's first-ever gold medal in Rio. Last October he became the youngest man to referee the Currie Cup Final in his home South Africa while this year he became a Super Rugby referee for the first time.

In July, Rasivhenge refereed his first Test match between Uganda and Namibia.

"The Olympics were definitely the highlight of my career and the Fijian performance in the final was simply outstanding," Rasivhenge continued. "There is nowhere on earth that plays sevens like Fiji and I am looking forward to getting back amongst the locals again.

"We are delighted to welcome back Rasta to the Coral Coast as he was a wonderful ambassador for the game back in 2014," said founding Chairman Jay Whyte. "The people of Fiji love the way he referees rugby sevens and he is an inspiration for the local referees and officials.

"We were excited when he was awarded the Olympic final and have no doubt he will continue to be among the best referees on the world circuit this season."

The Fiji Coral Coast Sevens, founded in 2010, is the 'champion of champions' for the Pacific Rim and features 16 men's and 16 women's teams contesting more than $70,000 in prizemoney. Teams from Australia, Asia, the USA and Europe have been invited to take on the best sides in Fiji at the seventh edition in January.

Police and TFL Fijiana are the defending champions of the senior tournament while Lelean MS is the reigning champion of the Uprising Schools Sevens.

Dates Announced for Fiji's Coral Coast Sevens

Dates Announced for Fiji's Coral Coast Sevens

Now in its seventh year, Fiji's premier sevens tournament draws men's, women's and schools teams from around the Pacific to Lawaqa Park in ‘Rugbytown’.

“The Fiji Coral Coast Sevens is the 'champion of champions' for the Pacific Rim and set to be another thrilling tournament in the electrifying new Olympic era,” said Jay Whyte, Founding Chairman. “With invitations being extended once again to the winners of partner tournaments the Samoa Independence Sevens, the Serevi Rugbytown Sevens USA and the UON Central Coast Sevens (NSW), as well as the best of the best from Fiji, the men's event is sure to have a fantastic field.”

Vaiala BBE won the Samoa Independence Sevens last weekend while the Sereivi Rugbytown Sevens is on August 26-28 and the UON Central Coast Sevens is October 22-23.

Defending champions Police, who last year beat Wardens 26-10, and TFL Fijiana 'Mokosoi', who defeated USA Serevi Selects 36-10 to win the Crest Na Iri Trophy for women, will be among the other teams on show.

“We were proud to become the first tournament to offer equal prize money for women this year and we look forward to continuing the sport’s growth on the back of the Olympic Games,” continued Whyte.  “We are also delighted to bring back the Uprising Schools Sevens for the second year."

Whyte said there had never been a better time to be involved in rugby sevens.

“We congratulate Fiji on becoming back-to-back world champions and like all Fijians are incredibly excited about rugby sevens being in the Olympics and Fiji’s chances in Rio. We are confident the Coral Coast Sevens In Sigatoka in 2017 will help produce new Olympic heroes for Fiji.”

Newly-crowned DHL Impact Player of the Year Jasa Veremalua is one such player.

The Korotogo native, then aged 24, won the Campese-Serevi Medal as the best player of the 2012 Coral Coast Sevens while representing Red Rock and was selected into the Fiji national team shortly after.

Veremalua has now played 24 world series tournaments for Fiji and scored 52 tries.

Others who have won the Campese-Serevi medal since it was inaugurated in 2011 are Joji Ragamate (Wardens, 2011), Mosese Mawalu (Yamacia, 2013), Ilisoni Tavaiqia (Police, 2014) and Sevanaia Nadruku (Police, 2016).

Women’s stars such as Fijiana speedster Lavenia Tinai, who claimed the Jonah Lomu Medal for top tryscorer in 2016, have graced Lawaqa Park in the four years of the women’s competition.

“The Fiji Coral Coast Sevens is recognised as being one of the toughest outside of the world series while still being fun, friendly and down to earth,” said Whyte. “It is one of the highlights of the year for teams, sponsors and visiting media and referees and 2017 will be no exception.”

After three years as title sponsor Bayleys Real Estate is not renewing and a new title sponsor will be announced in due course.



2016 Police

2014 Police

2013 Yamacia

2012 Red Rock

2011 Wardens

2010 Red Rock



2016 TFL Fijiana Mokosoi

2014 Aussie Pearls

2013 TFL Fijiana

2012 Aussie Pearls

Police Recapture Coral Coast Crown

Police Recapture Coral Coast Crown

Fiji's Police sevens team has made history in the i-wau final of the sixth Bayleys Fiji Coral Coast Sevens.

The lawmen became the first team to win consecutive tournaments with a 26-10 win over Wardens in front of a vocal Lawaqa Park crowd.

TFL Fijiana Mokosoi defeated USA Serevi Selects 36-10 to win the Crest Na Iri Trophy for women.

Both champions were awarded $20,000 in a first for women's rugby in Fiji.

Police captain Livai Ikanikoda said they were delighted with the result.

"We sacrificed during the festive season, we trained hard and that helped us go back to back," said the former national sevens rep. "We followed what our coach, Etonia Naba, told us and it was great to have Sevanaia Nadruku, the player of the tournament, in our squad.

"We hope Ben Ryan will pick some players from the Police after this result."

Ryan, the national coach, was sideline amongst a crowd of over 5,000 diehard fans in glorious Sigatoka weather.

Police reached the Cup final with an excellent defensive display in their semi against Tabadamu, winning 15-5, while Wardens' margin was even closer as they beat Coastal Ratu Filise 7-5.

Although Sevuloni Tawake opened the scoring for Wardens in the decider, the more experienced Police team soon dominated with four unanswered tries.

Kini Douglas, Kepeni Paul, Meli Kurisaru and Timoci Ratulolo crossed for the boys in blue, and despite losing Manueli Lagai with a red card, they held Wardens to one further consolation try.

Sevanaia Nadruku was awarded the Campese-Serevi Medal for player of the tournament by the Maestro himself, Waisale Serevi, and TFL Fijiana speedster Lavenia Tinai won the Jonah Lomu Medal for top tryscorer with seven.

Guest of honour Lote Tuqiri, the former Wallaby, presented the latter prize.

In the women's final the Mokosoi selection, featuring Tinai, Asinate Savu and Tima Ravisa, were comfortable winners over the visitors. Tinai (2), Ravisa (2), Savu and Mateiwai were the tryscorers.

Earlier, Mokosoi had beaten the Aussie Pearls development side 24-19 while Serevi Selects overpowered Tagimoucia, the other TFL Fijiana selection, winning 32-7.

BLK First Landing, Yamacia, Red Rock, Striders and the Central Chiefs were winners of the minor trophies.

The dates of the next Coral Coast Sevens will be finalised later this month.

Police 26 Wardens 10

Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort Plate
BLK First Landing 33 Aussie Thunderbolts 17

Tourism Fiji Bowl
Yamacia 19 Shipping Service Suva Stallions 5

Coastal Shield
Hideaway 12 Red Rock 7

Crest Na Iri Trophy
TFL Fijiana Mokosoi 36 USA Serevi Selects 10

TFL Women's Plate
Striders 17 NZ Raiders 12

Rainbow Cool Tech Women's Bowl
Mystic Knights 26 Central Chiefs II 0

Defending Champions March On At Lawaqa Park

Defending Champions March On At Lawaqa Park

The Aussie Pearls opened their defence of the Crest Na Iri Trophy in resounding style in Sigatoka on Friday.

As the 12-team women's competition got underway at the Bayleys Fiji Coral Coast Sevens the young Aussies swept Pool Q with wins over Central Coast Chiefs II 43-0 and Striders 24-12.

"We're playing pretty well and it's a good start for us young girls to get two wins on the board," said captain Gemma Etheridge. "It's always tough coming over to Fiji as it's a different type of rugby and very physical.

The visitors, who feature three recent Commonwealth Youth Games gold medalists, handled the hot, muggy conditions with aplomb.

"Everyone has gelled together and played really well today and they are coming along," added Etheridge.

The USA Serevi Selects and the TFL Fijiana squad, split into Mokosoi and Tagamoucia selections, all went undefeated in Pools R, S and T respectively.

With a $20,000 first prize there is plenty to play for at Lawaqa Park however many of the participants already have one eye on Rio 2016.

“It's definitely very exciting as there is a lot to look forward to and we can't wait to get out there in a few months," said Etheridge. "This tournament is all part of getting us ready and fit for Rio.”

Meanwhile, four local teams will contest the $20,000 men's first prize.

Defending champion Police face Tabadamu and surprise package Coastal Ratu Filise meet 2011 champions Wardens in the semi finals.

Ratu Filise, inspired by the presence of famous son Lote Tuqiri, came from behind three times to beat the Aussie Thunderbolts 26-24.

Captain Leveni Tani bagged three tries, two of them runaways, while Noa Tuqiri, cousin of the former Wallaby, scored the matchwinner after the hooter had sounded.

Tom Lucas (2), Matthew Gonzales and Henry Hutchison crossed for Aussie's four tries as the visitors looked to have won the match, leading 24-14 with two minutes to play.

However, Tani's third try closed the gap to three points and a late tackle called by former Sevens World Series referee James Bolabiau gave the Namatakula team an opportunity, which Tuqiri duly took.

Earlier, Hutchison had scored perhaps the try of the tournament in a length of the field effort, combining with Tom Merritt and Sam Figg for a score that was exhausting just to watch.

Police's Meli Kurisaru scored twice as they defeated BLK First Landing, who fielded Fiji stars Aisake Katonibau and Emosi Mulevoro, 22-12 before Tabadumu beat Uluinakau 14-5 in a low-scoring contest.

Wardens winger Filipo Daugunu showed his speed with a double as the lawmen beat Westfield Dragons 24-21 in the last quarter final.

The results continue to underline the strength of rugby sevens in Fiji with no overseas team yet to make it past the quarter finals in the six years of the tournament.

Play kicks off on Shangri-La Saturday at 0900 with all the action streamed on


Quarter Finals
Police 22 BLK FIrst Landing 12
Tabadamu 14 Uluinakau 5
Coastal Ratu Filise 26 Aussie Thunderbolts 24
Wardens 24 Westfield Dragons 21

Pool A
Police 33 Shangri-La Daveta 7
Wesfield Dragons 35 Germany 14

Pool B
Aussie Thunderbolts 21 Outrigger 7
Uluinakau 19 Uprising 12

Pool C
Tabadamu 17 Hideaway Hurricanes 7
Coastal Ratu Filise 17 Yamacia 7

Pool D
Shipping Service Suva Stallions 17 Red Rock 14
Wardens 19 BLK First Landing 5

Pool Q
Striders 42 Central Chiefs II 0
Aussie Pearls 43 Central Chiefs II 0
Aussie Pearls 24 Striders 12

Pool R
NZ Raiders 17 Marist Sea Hawks 5
USA Serevi Selects 19 Marist Sea Hawks 0
USA Serevi Selects 15 NZ Raiders 0

Pool S
Nadi Blazers 15 Mystic Knights 5
TFL Mokosoi 21 Nadi Blazers 0
TFL Mokosoi 54 Mystic Knights 0

Pool T
Central Chiefs 33 Coastline Roos 7
TFL Tagamoucia 21 Central Chiefs 10
TFL Tagamoucia 40 Coastline Roos 0