By EDDIE OSIFELO
The journey of Solomon Islands’ men’s rugby 7s team at the XVII Pacific Games came to a halt in the quarterfinals, as they faced a crushing defeat against flying Fiji with a score of 74-0 at the National Stadium last night.
Reflecting on the emphatic triumph, Fiji Rugby Union 7s team manager, Rokolua Lala, highlighted the team’s extensive preparation over the past six weeks. “We prepare really well. We don’t underestimate any team, that’s why we are so hungry and the result speaks for itself,” Lala expressed.
Lala further mentioned that the development team aims to perform at their best and make their way into the senior national team.
While acknowledging the respect Fiji holds for Solomon Islands, he likened the match to playing against their own brothers, indicating the fierce competition on the field.
Facing disappointment in the quarterfinals, Solomon Islands coach, Australian Chris Nay, noted the team’s struggle in scoring. Nay emphasized the need for improvement in defense and stressed the significance of being able to score against a full team of seven players.
Moving forward in the tournament, the teams that have secured places in the semifinals are Tahiti, Tuvalu, Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea (PNG), and Fiji.
Tahiti emerged victorious with a 12-0 win against Kiribati, while Tuvalu defeated Nauru 15-10.
Samoa dominated Cook Islands with a convincing 36-0 victory, and Tonga outplayed Vanuatu with a scoreline of 43-5.
PNG showcased their prowess by overwhelming American Samoa with a 34-5 win.
In the meantime, the Solomon Islands female Rugby Union 7s team faced a narrow loss of 10-7 against Wallis and Futuna in their last Pool A match, thus failing to secure a spot in the semifinals.