Samoa claim Pacific Games Gold
Samoa has claimed the Gold medal in the Men's final of the Pacific Games defeating Fiji 21-19 in a thrilling final in Noumea this evening.
In a fiery affair that had both teams down to six men at one stage, Samoa held off a fast finishing Fijian team to defend the Gold medal they won at the 2009 Pacific Mini Games in Rarotonga, Cook Islands.
Fiji had survived an almighty scare in the semi finals from the emerging power in Oceania Sevens, Papua New Guinea, who scored a try in injury time to draw level at 19-all at full time. A try in extra time saw Fiji qualify for the Gold medal match against Samoa.
The big guns from both teams were out providing a world class spectacle for the huge and appreciative crowd in Noumea. Uale Mai and Lolo Lui were superb for Samoa, with Mai scoring the opening try of the match and the first of Samoa's three tries - all of which were converted by Lui. Flying Fijian representative, Nikola Matawalu who no doubt has a bright future, was in sublime form and also touched down for a try in the final.
Earlier in the evening, Papua New Guinea claimed the bronze medal with a tight 10-5 victory over Niue. PNG and Niue have thus qualified for the Gold Coast leg of the 2011/12 HSBC Sevens Series on account of finishing as the top 2 non-core teams of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
Bronze: Papua New Guinea