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Fiji takes gold in rugby

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After a grueling weekend of the world’s best Sevens rugby players going head to head—quite literally—in Sam Boyd stadium in Las Vegas for the USA Sevens title, Team Fiji takes home the gold, USA trailing behind as a strong 4th place on Feb. 15, 2015. "This year’s USA Sevens tournament started with spectator expectations high. The previous tournaments in the season have brought such a different level of competition and just pure skill,” commented Luisa Racava, an avid sophomore rugby player majoring in communications. Racava mentioned that her family attends the USA Sevens every year and, “It’s always Fiji with the biggest fan presence, it’s no surprise that with all that support, and refined skill of the players that they took this tournament’s cup.” The USA Sevens official website reported in their recap, “Unlike seven of the nine tournaments in the Series, the USA Sevens spans three days of international play.” Due to this extended version of play, each team played two pool matches on day one, with the final pool match paired with quarterfinal matches played on day two. Fiji played an amazing game against New Zealand, stunning everyone with the amount of improvement by both individual players and as a whole unit flowing together more naturally than they ever have before. Critics of the match claim that an injury affected New Zealand’s ability to match the power and pace brought by Fiji. Though New Zealand brought it back in the second seven minute half, scoring 19 points, it was too little, and too late. Though the main focus of the event is rugby, vendors from both international and national bases come to sell their product to fellow rugby fanatics and players alike. This year, the local chapter of the Fiji Business Bureau had a booth dedicated to providing support services to undocumented Pacific Islanders. “Among other things, I always enjoy the food. Second to watching a solid three days of rugby, there’s nothing better than an international palette’s worth of good eats,” said Emory Williams, a Sevens player who attended the Las Vegas tournament as a spectator from Sacramento, CA. In the current 2014-15 season, the USA Sevens tournament is part of a nine-tournament circuit in eight different countries, touching on five of the six populated continents. Teams compete for the Sevens World Series title by accumulating points based on their finishing standings in each of the international tournaments. In the early years of the tournament, New Zealand dominated the Series, coming out with the first six titles from 1999-2005. However, Fiji, South Africa, and Samoa have each broken this winning streak since then.So far, the winners of each sub-tournament have been as follows. Australia at Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast: Fiji. Dubai at The Sevens: South Africa. South Africa at Nelson Mandela Stadium in Port Elizabeth: South Africa. New Zealand at Westpac Stadium in Wellington: New Zealand, and most recently in the United States at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Fiji took the title, winning against New Zealand. Ace Vuikadavu, a hospitality and tourism management major from Fiji remarked, “I felt humbled and proud of the achievement the boys have made. This is the only time you will see Fijians go crazy, wild and loud. Rugby is in our blood, whether we play it or watch from the sidelines.”The next tournament in the Series will be held in Hong Kong in the Hong Kong Stadium from March 27 to the 29. Uploaded Feb. 26, 2015.
Writer: Morgynne Tora