Despite the unpredictable weather Rugby fans and supporters flocked to Independence Park for a display of rugby 7s flair and talent from Monday 27 to Thursday 30 March.

All Vanuatu Rugby and Football Union (VRFU) clubs participated in this privately sponsored event for top 3 place positions. The contribution for fourth place was awarded to Tewalu Securities, while the Player-of-the-Tournament prize award was presented to Shepherds Rugby Club’s speedster Stanley.

The initiative to showcase Vanuatu’s national talents was one of the initial steps to build awareness for VRFU’s preparations towards Van2017. The new Executive Committee of VRFU has been active in initiating competitions to build and encourage rugby players’ return to the fold, and topped with VRFU’s plan to add to this initiative its fostering of under-age competitions and women’s program inclusive to its social calendar this year.

Fourth place winners VATE Bulldogs shut down Shepherds’ back line movements and mobile defense to beat Shepherds 2 to claim victory for the 10,000VT that was up for grabs and sponsored by Tewalu Securities with a score of 12 — 0. Third place winners Ovins had a challenging time playing a hard defensively structured game against a solid Saruvanua defense to win by a resounding 14 — 0.

The finals saw Ifira Blackbird 1 and Shepherds 1 come out scoreless at full-time. Extra-time had Ifira bundling a try over the try line for a try and a successful conversion to end the program with a 7 – 0 win.

In his closing remarks the VRFU President stated that this event was a precursor to clubs’ preparations for the Easter 7s competition that is always held annually and he was confident that clubs will bring more of their “A” game to the Easter competition.

Special thanks was conveyed to VRFU’s private sponsor for this VRFU National 7s Tournament that ended successfully and also the continuous generosity from Tewalu Securities and Michel Motoutorua in VRFU’s strive to a successful campaign for 2017.

VRFU 15s program kicks off this week from 4.30pm at the Independence Park. 5 April 2017: Ovins vs Police Ref: Robin Bakokoto, AR1/2: Claudey/KK, 6 April: Shepherds vs VATE Bulldogs, Ref: Waute Chichirua, AR1/2: Simile/Helen, and 7 April: Saruvanua vs Ifira Blackbirds, Ref: Kaltap Kalo and AR1/2: Richie/Langi.

Raymond Nasse

Sports Editor

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