The Fijian Ambassadors’ victory at the Abbotsford Rugby Sevens festival on Saturday was a triumph of style and substance.
In a wildly entertaining International Division final at Exhibition Park, the Fijians spotted the Dog River Howlers of Regina, Sask. an early 14-0 lead. Then they rallied with ruthless efficiency, scoring five consecutive tries to claim a 33-14 advantage. The Howlers notched a couple of late scores, but the Ambassadors cruised to a 33-28 win.
Along the way, the Fijians whipped their fans into a frenzy with a scintillating defensive effort that featured a series of bone-jarring hits.
“It was awesome,” said Ambassadors manager John Naceba, whose squad was comprised of past Fiji national team members along with several up-and-coming players.
“We gave them a couple of early tries. But once we got going, we were on our way.”
The third annual Abbotsford Rugby Sevens brought together teams from Fiji, Kenya, Mexico, the Cayman Islands, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.
In other International Division action, Ratu Filise – another Fijian side – won the Plate final, edging Burnaby Lake 26-21. The Bayside Tigersharks won the Bowl final, beating South Seas Connection 21-7.
In the Elite Men’s Division, Old Puget Sound blew out the Bayside Fiji Selects 35-5 in the title game. Burnaby Lake won the Women’s Division, topping Capilano 22-12 in the final.