13 Feb 2007

Fiji, and Tonga successful at IRB sevens while Samoa comes in close second

7:43 am on 13 February 2007

The Fiji coach/player Waisale Serevi says winning the San Diego leg of the IRB sevens series is just as important for Fijian people around the world.

The defending champions avenged their defeat at the hands of Samoa last weekend in Wellington winning 38-24 in the US, and picking up their first series title after four legs.

Serevi credited the win to the people of Fiji.

"I think this win is very important for the people back at home, because of the things happening in Fiji, a lot of people struggling, Christmas and New Year, people are not working tourists are not coming, but to win this one puts smiles on people, all people, back home, and I know they're proud not only people back home, people who are here in America and Fijian people in the World."

The victory means the four IRB Sevens World Series Cup titles so far this season have each gone to a different nation with Fiji joining New Zealand, South Africa and Samoa.

And Samoa who sit in fourth place on the leaderboard with 48 points behind South Africa in third and joint leaders Fiji and New Zealand on 60 points are rueing lost chances.

Coach Dicky Tafua says he's very disappointed but his players gave away too much ball.

This game we have a lot of mistakes, we give away our possession, and that causes us trouble, you know the Fijians have the possession about 60 percent 65 that's why we got beaten.

And on the same weekend that Tonga's 15's side qualified for the Rugby World Cup in France this year the Sevens team beat Argentina 22-17 in a sudden death playoff to take the Bowl title.

Argentina who beat Tonga in Wellington last week took first points, but Tonga hit back with two tries from Siale Lolohea.

Tonga then built on their half time lead with a score from Sione Langatau only for Argentina to storm back to parity with tries by Lalanne and Amelong to take the game into extra time.

Tomasi Funaki scored the winning try for Tonga.

The teams will meet in Hong Kong next month for the fifth leg.