February 04, 2018
Army speedster Alosio Naduva was Fiji’s secret weapon in the final of the Hamilton 7s as he dotted down three tries in their thrilling 24-17 win over defending champion South Africa tonight in Waikato.
The Fijians backed by thousands of fans from the stands played the final with a lot of guts, determination and a Never-Say-Die attitude.
A yellow card in the first minute of play of lanky Josua Vakurunabili allowed South Africa to capitalize and score the opening try through Kwagga Smith in the 2nd minute.
Fiji replied in style with towering forward Paula Dranisinikula making a bursting run and feeding a beautiful pass to Amenoni Nasilasila who offloaded to Naduva for the equalizing try.
Captain Kyle Brown and Brance Du Preez scored two more tries for South Africa before the break to give them a 17-5 lead.
Down by 12 points, the Fijians meant business from the start of the second half and Kalione Nasoko beautifully offloaded the ball to Naduva to score his and Fiji’s second try.
Du Preez was sin-binned in the 3rd minute of the second half and with one man extra on the field, the Fijians were able to get on the score-board again through the dancing feet of Naduva who outpaced a couple of defenders on his way to the try-line.
And a successful conversion by Nasilasila gave the Fijians a 19-17 lead.
South Africa toiled hard to get back into the match but a try by in-form winger Eroni Sau from a scrum sealed the win for Fiji.
Naduva scooped the Player of the Final award for his outstanding performance.
Earlier in the semifinals, Fiji defeated New Zealand 14-12. And in the quarters, the Jerry Tuwai skippered side overcame Samoa 12-10.
By Reginald Chandar