Marist 7s: Farmers surprise 7s giants in Suva

The Navutulevu team after their match yesterday. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

A team consisting of farmers from Navutulevu Village in Serua are one of the crowd favourites after their scintillating performance and making a cleansweep in their pool games at the 2020 Marist 7s at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.

The idea of playing in the tournament wasn’t always their priority however two years of farming together and training and playing touch rugby every afternoon has proven itself at the Laucala turf yesterday.

Head coach Maika Tuwara said they just wanted to prove that rugby sevens was a sport any Fijian could play despite their knowledge, experience or how famous and professional they were in the sport.

“These boys are all farmers who make use of their every day in the farm and making use of their resources but in the afternoon they train together,” said Tuwara.

“It all started two years ago but pandemic struck and many lost their jobs but for us we used it as a tool to strengthen our bond and commit ourselves to farming and training.” he said.

The village-based team has no renowned players and their individual effort in selling their produce helped them register for the tournament.

“We are here to show that you don’t have to be playing at the provincial level or a national rep to be
recognised.

“We trained as a team and play like one family and that was one thing that boosted our performances to qualify for the second eliminations. We wanted to reach  the eliminations now that we have
reached our goal, we will aim for the quarter-finals,” he said.

In the pool stages they defeated Marist 19-5, then they won against Veilomani rugby before beating Mosquitoes rugby 10-5 in the last pool game.

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