A feast of sevens rugby was what Prime Minister Honourable Sitiveni Rabuka was treated to at the 36th Fiji Bitter Nawaka Sevens in Nadi’s Prince Charles Park yesterday.
From a rousing welcome by thousands of spectators at the stands to presenting the $10,000 main prize to the Fiji Development team, Mr Rabuka and his entourage enjoyed an afternoon of fast and entertaining rugby.
He was accompanied by his wife Mrs Sulueti Rabuka and both were joined at the VIP tent by the Momo Tui Nawaka Ratu Tomasi Kanailagi Naevo, Minister for Youth and Sports Honourable Jese Saukuru and senior managers and staff of tournament sponsors, Paradise Beverages.
Whilst delivering his official remarks, the Prime Minister congratulated the winning team for displaying good sportsmanship and fine rugby skills on the field.
The crowned champions, Fiji Development team beat a strong Kombat Uluinakau side by 33-10.
Prime Minister Rabuka urged other participants not to lose hope and to keep striving towards success.
“For those of you who did not make it to the national or international level from this competition, there is still hope. We’re not only here to develop rugby but also our camaraderie, team work, courage, self-discipline and all elements that build great characters that will create great citizens of this nation,” he added.
“I encourage you all to support our young people in this sport of rugby. I also take time time to congratulate the players who are here, the winners and also the losers. For the teams who did not make it through, you will win some day, keep at it.
“If there was no good losers, we would have not developed a good national team.
“We just witnessed our development national team won and I pray the players will continue to demonstrate the vigour, courage, team work and the character they showed us here so they may bring back moments of joy and the cups in the arenas of rugby in the world.”
The Prime Minister also commended the organisers of the tournament and business houses around the country for their support towards rugby.
Meanwhile, the Fiji Development team scored a total of five tries taking home the main prize of $10,000 while Ulunaikau bagged the runners-up prize money of $5000.
In the U-21 Cup final, PSM Flames Bro defeated Vuda Blues by 17-0.
In the Fellow Fijian cup final, Team Pratap Civil & Ashplt narrowly beat Central Babas by 12-10.
In the Vibulou Women’s cup final, Seahawks defeated Draki Lillians White by 22-5.