Auckland Marist Saint Joseph’s retains the Marist International 7’s 2018 championship for the third year running
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – MONDAY 19 FEBRUARY 2018: The Auckland Marist Saint Joseph’s team has retained the championship of the Marist international 7s Tournament 2018.
The whole week festive celebration of the Samoa Marist Club 30th anniversary’s finale was it’s
The annual Marist International 7’s Tournament 2018 was the highlight of the clubs Sports Week and marked the 30tha anniversary of the International Sevens.
Of the 24 teams scheduled to compete in this year’s tournament, only twenty two participated. The much anticipated participation of two teams from China was affected by travel schedules due to disruptions brought by Cyclone Gita a week earlier. The only team from Fiji also did not make it due to the same reasons.
The only international teams that managed to attend were Mens and Womens teams from New Zealand and Australia.
The venue was also changed to the ACP Stadium, Lotopa due to flooding at Apia Park and remnants of the cyclone left a pool of mud and water in the middle of the field that poised tricky conditions for the players.
The tournament brought out the best in some of the new local teams such as Salelologa, Savaii who went on to defeat Vaimoso in the final of the Bowl competition. The match went into extra time and Salelologa scored first after tying 12 all.
Taumeasina Moata’a beat Marist Barbarians 19-7 to win the Spoon. Marist Barbarians was captained by this year’s Marist Club Guest of Honour- former Manu Samoa 7s captain and 2009 IRB Player of the Year, Uale Ma’i.
A much improved Tepatasi from Aleipata defeated Tuisamoa Artisan Water in the Plate and a cash prize of $4,000 talā.
Former winners of the tournament, Vaiala secured 3rd place while Vailele settled for fourth.
This is the first time Maris Club hosted a Womens Sevens tournament and the final was decided between the local team Marist Invitation and Auckland Samoa. Featuring Justine Lavea as captain and former Black Ferns Captain Seiuli Fiaoo Faamausili in a 20-0 runaway victory, the team donated its’ $3,000 talā cash prize to the Home for the Aged at Mapuifagalele.
The surprise of the tournament was the Apia Maroon who for the first time competed in the final of the Cup Championship against three time defending champions, Marist Auckland.
Marist Auckland retained the title in a 12 –0 victory.
The Marist International Sevens has been the platform that has exposed and showcased local rugby talents that have made it to international stage over its 30 year history.
Cup – Marist Auckland
Plate – Tepatasi, Aleipata.
Bowl – Salelologa
Spoon – Taumeasina Island Resort, Moata’a.