Fijiana Win Inaugural Oceania Women's Championship

Oceania Rugby, Sat Nov 5, 2016 3:11PM


Fijiana has beaten Papua New Guinea in the first ever Oceania Women’s Championship. Played in Suva, Fijiana outscored PNG six tries to two to win 37-10 and progress to the final qualifying tournament for the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup.


The visitors were very competitive in the first half and Fijiana led at the break just 13-5. After the break PNG was first to score through an early try and the Fijiana lead was cut to just 13-10. However Fijiana regrouped and a strong second half performance that included four tries was simply too much for PNG.

Fijiana centre Litiana Lawedrau scored two of her teams tries in a standout performance, as did reserve prop Vilisi Vakaloloma. Fijians’s other try scorers were tighthead Esiteri Bulikiobo and reserve forward Makereta Tunidau. PNG try scorers were fullback Joanne Lagona and Number Eight Debbie Kaore.


The win puts Fijiana through to the final Women’s RWC 2017 Asia/Oceania Qualifier tournament in December in Hong Kong as the Oceania Champion. This tournament will feature two Asian qualifiers and Fijiana, with the two highest placed teams qualifying for the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland.

It was an historic day for Fijiana playing its first test at home and captain Laillanie Burnes said, “It feels fantastic, you know it’s such a proud moment it’s a historical event for women’s rugby and women across all of Fiji. We want to say a big Vinaka Vaka Lelu to the people of Fiji and to all those who believed in us.”



“We now have the WRWC qualifying in December. It is a tough road but you know what, we are going back into training to work even harder and make everyone proud. The next tournament in Hong Kong is another stepping-stone and we are going all the way to Ireland’.

Fijiana coach Seremai Bai said, “We still have a lot of work to do as we have had just three weeks together. I am proud of them, for them to come out and play like that in front of their home crowd. We were creating history today, not only for the players but also for us as coaches and management trying to put things together. I am really glad we have managed to qualify for Hong Kong, this really means a lot for the girls, their families, it was very pleasing.”


PNG coach John Larry felt his team’s discipline let them down while the scrum was also under a lot of pressure. Captain Margaret Naua said, “It was a really tough match. We just made too many errors, we were rushing our game too much. We needed to settle as we had a good first half but Fijians finished much stronger.”



Fiji Team

1. Lailanie Burnes (Captain)

2. Pasemaca Buadromo

3. Esiteri Bulikiobo

4. Fuga Ofakimalino

5. Laisa Taga

6. Joma Rubuti

7. Mere Moto

8. Sereana Nagatalevu

9. Rejieli Uluinayau

10. Merewalesi Rokouono

11. Paulini Ravouvou

12. Talica Vodo

13. Litiana Lawedrau

14. Limaina Wai

15. Roela Radiniyavuni

16. Vlisi Vakaloloma

17. Mereoni Yabakidrau

18. Jowana Vuni

19. Makereta Tunidau

20. Sainimere Naleweniikataga

21. Tavaita Rowati

22. Mereani Moceituba

23. Wainikiti Deku


Papua New Guinea Team

1. Pamela Waringe

2. Jane Buku

3. Norah Wartovo

4. Isi Govea

5. Clara Biyamah

6. Melanie Kawa

7. Lynette Kwarula

8. Debbie Kaore

9. Victoria Kamen

10. Margaret Naua (Captain)

11. Nina Stein

12. Kymlie Rapilla

13. Marlugu Dixon

14. Cassandra Sampson

15. Joanne Lagona


16. Lorraine Pomat

17. Geua Larry

18. Tracy Stains

19. Harkana Dixon

20. Theresanne Daimol

21. Angela Parao

22. Helen Abau

23. Augusta Livuana



Match Ref – Alan Aioluptota (Samoa) male

Assistant Ref 1 – Avei Fa’alupega (Samoa) Female

Assistant Ref 2 - Nere Ululinacera (Fiji) Female


Last updated: Saturday November 5, 2016 6:22PM
Author: Greg Thomas