Development 7s team returns from Vanua Levu
03 November, 2011
|Senior Development Officer, Osea Umuumulovo (left) and the Development 7s team at the Adi Vunisalusalu 7s tournament. |
A development 7s team from the Fiji Rugby Union returned from Vanua Levu earlier this week after participating in the Asco Motors Vunisalusalu 7s in Vaturova; a place not far from Fiji’s hidden paradise – beautiful Savusavu.
Led by senior development officer Osea Umuumulovo and development officer Eddie Waqa the development team was made up of mostly young and promising players, blended with a couple of experienced heads, from mainly the north-western side of Viti Levu and included:
Jone Tiko (Lautoka); Iliesa Nadau (Lautoka); Erueli Savai (Lautoka); Tevita Nodrakoro (Vatukoula); Savenaca Ravatu (Vatukoula); Manoa Natarogia (Vatukoula); Seniyaro Matakiviwa (Ra); Tomasi Gaunibale (Ra); Lea Matavusa (FNU); Semi Cakau (Northland); Leone Ratulevu (Vatukoula); Samuela Bari (Navuso Agricultural School).
All the above players had been selected by Fiji Rugby’s development unit through its talent identification programme; a programme which also included participating in the Asco Motors sponsored Vunisalusalu 7s where Umuumulovo and Waqa were on the look-out for more talent to be roped into an extended Digicel Fiji 7s squad.
The development 7s team breezed through the eliminations at the tournament, however the players were tested in the quarter-finals against a determined Navakaka side and were made to work hard for their 16-5 victory. It was a different story though in the final where local side Bilibili were more than up to the challenge of the development team upsetting the visitors 27-12.
While the loss may have been unexpected it did give Umuumulovo the chance to spot new talent and two players within the Bilibili side were rewarded for their outstanding performance by being called into the extended 7s squad. So it’s perhaps worth taking note of the names Manasa Cole and Simeli Taqea of the Bilibili 7s team as we could be hearing more about both players in the not too distant future. FRU Development 7s team results:
Dev 7s 24-0 Sting Ray; Dev 7s 34-0 Tabia; Dev 7s 22-0 Vuinadi; Dev 7s 26-0 Sea Eagles Qtrs –
Dev 7s 16-5 Navakaka Semi –
Dev 7s 24-0 Savudrodro Final –
Dev 7s 12-24 Bilibili