Lautoka 1 top seeds for Fiji TV 7s
10 November, 2011
Defending Fiji Provincial 7s champions Lautoka 1 have been installed as top seeds in the opening tournament of the Fiji TV 7s – the Sigatoka 7s – which kicks off this Saturday at 8:00 AM at Lawaqa Park along Fiji’s holiday shoreline - the Coral Coast. Second seeds for the tournament are Naitasiri 1 in Pool B while the other seeded teams are Tailevu 1 in Pool C, Vatukoula 1 in Pool D, Northland 1 in Pool E and Nadroga Yellow in Pool F.
Seedings for the tournament which officially kicks off Fiji’s domestic 7s season were based on performances from last season as Fiji Rugby Union operations manager Vilikesa Rinavuaka explains.
“As much as possible we’ve tried to base the seedings on how the teams performed during the Fiji TV Provincial 7s Finals back in February,” Rinavuaka said.
“Unfortunately not all the teams who made the Finals back in February have made it this time around, for instance teams such as last year’s runners-up Namosi 2 and Cakaudrove will not be participating which means we’ve had to move teams up the seedings.”
“However all things taken on board the pools look very even,” Rinavuaka added.
While many of the usual suspects, such as the teams from Lautoka, Nadi, Suva, Naitasiri and of course Nadroga, are keen to claim the $7,000 first prize money, the Fiji TV 7s Series welcomes a newcomer into its ranks this season in the form of island team – Koro.
“It’s always such a thrill to have new teams come on board because it’s an opportunity for showcasing new talent and that’s what’s so exciting about a team like Koro as they bring with them a little of the unknown to a tournament that’s full of local stars.”
Hoping to also add excitement to the tournament are Fiji’s women players who will compete in a round robin competition as well as teams from the Fiji Indo-Community.
“We’re determined to keep our women players very much in the spotlight as we all look forward to the Olympic Games and the potential both our men and women’s teams have in performing on arguably international sports greatest arena.”
“We’re also keen to bring the Fiji Indo community into the game not merely by being supporters but by being active playing members and the 7s game is a great tool to achieving this,” Rinavuaka said, adding “though I suppose we all look forward to the day when there will be no need for a separate competition as the Fiji Indo community will have integrated fully into the game at all levels.”
Northerners, Macuata, get proceedings underway on Saturday when they meet local boys Nadroga White in the opening clash at 8:00 AM. Ticket prices are $5 for the grandstand, $3 for the embankment while children under 12 years enjoy free admission on the embankment.