For Fiji, ever Fiji, let our voices ring with pride,
For Fiji, ever Fiji, her name hail far and wide,
A land of freedom, hope and glory to endure whate’er befall
May God bless Fiji, forevermore!
This is the chorus of the Fijian national anthem sung so passionate by coach Alavereti Dere’s men at the Hong Kong Stadium yesterday.
“Hong Kong is the only tournament where you get to sing your national anthem (ahead of the Cup Final) so it’s definitely something to play for,” said South Africa’s Paul Treu in Hong Kong recently.
While the Blitzbokke were again unlucky not to make the Cup Final, the two teams who did this year, delivered one of the most scintillating Cup Finals in recent memory.
For captain Setefano Cakau, who was in inspired form in the final, it was his first Cup victory in Hong Kong.
“For me it is the first time I have played in and won a Cup final here,” Cakau said after lifting the Cup.
“I have been here for six years and it is my first victory as captain so I thank the boys because I know they worked very hard this afternoon.
“It was our mission to win and now we will keep building on it for next week. I know it is another tournament and a big task ahead of us so we will regroup and work on what is ahead of us in Japan.”
Above: Fiji not only won valuable Series points in Hong Kong yesterday, but also the winners’ cheque of $100,000, the biggest winners purse of the HSBC Sevens World Series. (Pic. Manuel Queimadelos / PSI for HKRFU)
An emotional Fiji coach, Alavereti Dere said he was “very, very happy” after winning at his first attempt as coach in Hong Kong and as such becoming one of a very few players to win the Hong Kong Sevens as a player and coach. Commenting on how close the match was, he commented, “I think we wanted it more than New Zealand in the last ten minutes”.
Looking ahead to next week’s event in Tokyo, Dere said “it really sets us up for next week and maintains us in the top two places in the IRB Sevens rankings”
Also in the Cup, South Africa defeated England, 28-0, to take 3rd place, winning convincingly with four unanswered tries.
The HSBC Sevens World Series now moves on to Japan for the Tokyo Sevens next weekend.
Fiji celebrates after winning the 2012 Hong Kong Sevens in fine style.(Felix Ordonez / PSI for HKRFU)