By Joel Fitzpatrick, Port Moresby 2015 Games News Service.
PORT MORESBY, July 10 – Fiji has won both men’s and women’s Port Moresby 2015 Pacific Games rugby 7s titles on Friday at the BSP Stadium, beating Australia in the women’s and Samoa in the men’s to secure the double.
The women’s gold medal match was played out between the two pre-tournament favourites.
The match got off to a flying start when Georgina Friedrichs (AUS) went over in the left corner to open the scoring.
But Fiji Number 9 Ana Roqica answered back with a timely try momen’s before halftime.
Roqica picked the ball up 15 metres out and went over after a strong run by Rusila Tamoi (FIJ) put her team in scoring position.
Things looked bad for Australia when with three minutes 30 seconds left in the second half Friedrichs was handed a yellow card for infringing at the break-down.
The Australians defended stoutly and looked like they might survive the two-minute one-woman disadvantage until Timaima Ravisa (FIJ) decided enough was enough.
Ravisa made a break down the right, fending off a number of Australian players before incredibly passing the ball to Litia Naiqato (FIJ) while under the black dot.
Luckily Naiqato had her wits about her and she placed the ball down for the try.
But it was not over, as with momen’s left in the game Australian captain Nicole Beck made a great run down the left to score and keep her team’s hopes alive.
Unfortunately for Australia she was prevented from running under the posts and on the ensuing conversion attempt she shanked the ball wide to cost her team a chance at extra time, and the gold medal.
Fiji gathered the ball from the restart and kicked it in to touch to end the game with the score 12-10.
The world No. 1 Fijian men’s team were imperious in their win over Samoa, getting out to an early lead that would prove insurmountable.
Kitione Dawai opened the scoring for Fiji when his chip and chase was fumbled allowing him to toe the ball ahead and dive on it over the line.
Momen’s later Dawai scored again, latching on to a looping pass and escaping the clutches of the defence to go over to the left of the posts.
With three minutes left in the first half Fiji looked like they had the gold medal in their grasp already when after a lovely series of typical flashy Fijian passes, they were over in the corner and 19 points ahead.
At that point the game was as good as over.
In the second half Fiji ran in two more tries to Samoa’s one and the final score was 33-7.
In the men’s bronze medal game Tonga beat PNG to secure third.
Tonga got off to the better start, scoring two tries in the first half to go into the break at 12-0.
PNG went on the attack immediately after the break and almost scored despite being a player down, but lost the ball near their line and saw Tonga’s number 9, Meiohihifo Kuli, head off the other direction to score the try that would ultimately seal it.
PNG did manage to score two tries before the end of the match but it was not to be as Tonga closed the match out to take the bronze with a 19-12 scoreline.
In the women’s bronze medal game Papua New Guinea got the hosts one rugby 7s medal, scoring three unconverted tries to beat New Caledonia 15-0.
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