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

Uprising 28 BLK Iron Courage 12

Full results and draws are available on