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Fiji crowned Oceania 7s champions

Fijian 7s team was crowned the PacificAus Sports Oceania 7s champions after remaining undefeated and beating the All Black 7s 17-7 in their final match in Townsville.

Coach Gareth Baber tried various combinations during the three-day competition and named a mixture of experienced and young players for the final match against New Zealand.

Fiji started the match with a bang, outpacing their opponents. After a few phases, Sireli Maqala beautifully broke the New Zealand defense allowing Iosefo Masi dive in for their first try.

Juita Wainiqolo scored second try to make it 12-0 before going for a breather.

Vilimoni Botitu and Aminiasi Tuimaba were also given the opportunity to play in the second half.

Fijian 7s continued to mount pressure on their opponents and after some amazing passing and offloads Masi ran in for his second try.

New Zealand’s consolation try by Kurt Baker was not enough, and Fiji was crowned the Oceania 7s champions.

Fijian 7s Coach Gareth Baber is impressed with the national teams’ performance but says there are still areas which they need to work on ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games next month.

“It’s first time we have been in an international competition, some 15 months, so I’m pleased with the level we are at, I’m also pleased with the intensity we bring to the game, we still got a little bit of more work to do physically and keeping ourselves with that mental battle we get in the game but overall it has been a good outing.”

Baber added that a few players such as Sireli Maqala, Iosefo Masi and Jiuta Wainiqolo put up an outstanding show over the weekend.

I’m pleased across the board, the players have worked hard and worked for each other” he said.

Baber further added that there are a few injuries which his medical team is working on.

He said Kalione Nasoko had a dislocated shoulder and it was successfully put in place, and Asaeli Tuivuaka has concussion.

Meanwhile, the Fijiana side created a major upset defeating Olympic gold medalists Australia 19-12 at the Oceania 7s .

The Saiasi Fuli-coached side scored two tries without reply in the first half to lead 12-nil at halftime.

Australia replied to reduce the deficit to 19-7 before Fiji ran in for another try.

The Aussies scored another try and tried hard to get a third but the Fijiana held on.

New Zealand secured the women’s title at the Oceania Sevens Championships, finishing the tournament unbeaten.

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