Oceania Sevens -Tahiti Nui
Tahiti Nui is the local terminology for Big Tahiti on this lush volcanic touristic wonderland, starting tomorrow it will be all about rugby. This Island in French Polynesia will play host to the Oceania Sevens. Teams that have flown in to join Tahiti are the Cook Islands, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Vanuatu and Tonga.
Sevens has recently had a massive shot in the arm with Olympic inclusion and all of a sudden the whole world wants a piece of the Golden action. Looking through these squads Samoa is the most experienced unit, they are a regular on the IRB World Series and all the rest will be lining them up over the 2 day tournament. There is nothing like beating the big guy & Samoa is the big guy in rugby boots here.
People from Oceania have a natural build for speed and contact, all of these teams went head to head last year in Samoa, a year on they will all be a bit more confident of performing well.
Looking at individual teams it looks like it will be a cracker of a contest. Samoa speak for themselves and romped away with the Oceania title last year, as well as making the semi finals in the RWC of Sevens this year. The Cook Islanders look dangerous too, they are giant killers and will be looking for more in Tahiti, this year at the Wellington Sevens they won the plate and downed Australia in the process. Tonga are always tough and one expects them to up the anti this year, their blend is youth and physicality, sprinkled on top is a bit more experience and they will be there come the business end.
Casting the eye wider on the pack, lean machines appear. Vanuatu lack muscle, but over compensate for this with pace galore. PNG too lack Island size, but their inner self is a massive man and they play like their bodies are twice as big as they actually are. Add to this that one of the world’s Sevens Legends- MR Waisale Serevi is their coach now & they look even more ominous.
Nuie also had a cracker of a time at the Wellington Sevens this year, they took the scalp of Samoa in the process and with their size and skill, they will fancy a few wins here too. Lastly is our hosts Tahiti, rugby is still new to them as a sport, however their drive and attitude on the pitch never lacks. They are distinctive in their red jumpers, as well as their impressively Tattoo’d legs, their general play will be superior to last year and playing at home they will look to impress, as well as grow the game in beautiful Tahiti.
Stay tuned for updates and reports from Tahiti Nui.