Fiji Sevens set to grow in the future

By Cameron Leslie

Whangarei's Fijian Brothers have proven to be the cream of the crop at the inaugural Northland Fiji Sevens Sports Tournament.

The Brothers were the only local team entered in the tournament which has been dubbed a success by tournament director Soro Ramacake thanks to strong support from Northland sponsors and administrators.

"We certainly were happy," said Ramacake. "The day was a fun family day out and in the end we had one local team and rest were from outside. But, in saying that, the Whangarei Brothers won it."

With Fijian players being some of the best exponents of the sevens game, there was always going to a large amount of talent on show.

Ramacake said the Brothers were coached by former All Blacks wing Joeli Vidiri during last weekend's tournament and were made up of local players mixed with a few from outside the region.

"What they did was they played simply rugby and executed the basics well," explained Ramacake. "If they needed to take the ball forward to make opposition commit so they could play fast ball out the back, they did it.

"One of their strengths, even though they hadn't played together before, was they communicated well and took their opportunities."

Ramacake hoped the event would become a regular fixture on the Northland sevens schedule, saying it would definitely be back next year.

He said there would be a de-brief process to discuss how the organisers could make the tournament better and ensure it was here to stay.

"There are some improvements we'll go for, [such as] maybe bring it forward earlier to January. There was a heap of people there, but we still want to make it big."

Due to the Old Boys and Marist merger, Ramacake said, one of considerations would be around what venue to use seeing as Old Boys' Rugby Club wouldn't be available.

He said for next year's tournament the organising committee would look for a major sponsor to come on-board for a few years to try and grow the prize pool.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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