Melrose Rugby Football Club
Nawaka became the first Fijian side to lift the Melrose Sevens title as they came out on top in an all-Southern Hemisphere Final against Christchurch of New Zealand. The Melrose trophy leaves Scotland for the first time since 1995, after a superb final, when two tries from Fijian Matanitobua late in the second half proved crucial.
Nawaka led 12-5 at the interval, having pressed the New Zealanders back for much of the opening period of final. Driu opened the scoring early in the first half, after kicking the ball ahead, and then showing a superb dummy before going in near the posts, and Ligairi converted.
Despite having a lot of possession Christchurch were unable to get clear of the own 22, as Nawaka closed most of the gaps. The Fijians extended their lead late in the half when Ligairi quipped through to touch down himself, but his conversion went wide.
Christchurch brought themselves back into the contest with a try just before the break. Darryl Cochrane raced clear to touchdown after an improvised pass by Alex Davis, but Jed Fraser failed to convert.
A try from Fraser mid-way through the second half opened the tie up again, when he crashed in at the corner, but he failed to convert.
Nawaka sealed their victory with a break away try from Matanitobua with a couple of minutes left, skipping his way round the Christchurch defence to score between the posts, and Ligairi converted.
The Fijians had the final word in injury time with Matanitobua going over for his second try of the final, and Ligairi converted.
©2000 BorderNet Ltd and The Border Telegraph.
Report by Andrew Innes. Photographs by Matthew Tunnock.
Melrose Sevens 2000 Results