Marist wins men’s title at Kingdom 7s
By ILIESA TORA
NUKU’ALOFA-October 7: 10pm (Nuku’alofa Times): Marist took home $10,000 after winning the first-ever Kingdom 7s tournament at the Ha’alano Ground in Kolomotu’a here in Tonga earlier today.
The Ma’ufanga based side defeated Toloa Old Boys 21-12 in an exciting final that had fans on the edge of their seats until the final whistle.
Coach Taholo Anitoni mapped out the team’s march to victory in the two-day event, ending the event one up over his rival and close friend Siaosi Atiola, coach of the Toloa side.
“I am happy with the boys and the way they played,” he said.
“We had a game plan mapped out for Toloa and the players did well to shut Toloa out.”
Toloa were in the game throughout until the dying minutes of the final when Marist scored runaway try.
Toloa used the event to test their players before the Gold Coast 7s in Ausralia.
Marist also won the right to play at the Coral Coast 7s in Sgatoka next year with the win.
In the women’s competition Hihifo went home with the top title after they completed the four-match round robin competition over Havelu over the two days.
Hihifo dominated all the matches, with just the first one ending in a draw on Friday at the Marist ground.
The highlight was in the Under-19 competition where Queen Salote College finished undefeated.
The Amelia Fineanganofo led side defeated Havelu, Masilamea, Girls Empoer and Hihifo on their way to claiming the title.
Tonga Women’s Rugby president Hoko Tuivai said the display by the under-19 players were impressive and some of them were likely to be selected for the Tonga women’s team to the Oceania event next month.
“We have identified some of the players from the competition and some of these girls played very well,” she said.
In the men’s Plate competition the final was won by Tavatu’utolu, coached by Manu Vunipola.
The side defeated Vaotaukoula 33-0 in the final of the bottom eight competition.
Yesterday’s finals started off with the eliminations in the bottom and top eight of the men’s tournament.
Here are the results from today:
Bottom 8 – Kolomotu’a One wbd Lavengamalie, Vaotaukoula 12 Spartan 5, Tavatuutolu 28 Toa ko Ma’afu 10, Hihifo wbd Silapelu Ua, Havelu 19 Ngeleia 17; Semifinals – Vaoaukoula 5 Kolomotu’a One 0, Tavatuukoula 19 Hihifo 14; Final – Tavatuukoula 33 Vaoaukoula 0.
Top 8 – Toloa Old Boys 24 Kolomotu’a Two 0, Havelu 19 Ngeleia 17, Marist 14 Barbarians 7, Vikings 14 Vaini 7; Semifinals – Toloa 14 Havelu 0, Viking 7 Marist 14; Final – Marist 21 Toloa 12.
Under-19s – Queen Salote College 12 Hihifo 5, Havelu 12 Girls Empoer 0, Masilamea 5 Girls Empower 0, QSC 12 Havelu 0.
Open Women – Hihifo 7 – Havelu 5
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