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Oceania & N American 7s Championships

Two regions hold their sevens championships this weekend

Action from last year's RAN Championship (KLC fotos for USA Rugby)

Oceania Sevens (Fiji)

A week after hosting the Oceania fifteens championship, Fiji this weekend hosts the sevens tournament.

Seven teams are competing – Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga.

Fiji are the reigning champions, having won the title in New Zealand last year. However, Australia (and New Zealand) did not compete in 2015 as the tournament also acted as a qualifier for the Olympics, and both had already qualified.

Their absence was significant as all of the four previous Oceania tournaments – in 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2008 – have all been won by either Australia (2008 and 2013) or New Zealand (2012 and 2014), so the absence of New Zealand from the tournament would seem to make World Series Champions and Olympic gold medallists Australia the overwhelming favourites.

Fiji are the only team likely to stop them. In 2013 they became the only Oceanian team to beat New Zealand, when they knocked the Ferns out in the semi-finals of that year’s tournament, and last year they won the title by scoring 194 points in just four games, while conceding none.

Solomon Islands are also taking part in the tournament for the first time.

The tournament is being decided by a single seven-team pool with no “final”.

Results

(Day 1): Fiji 54-0 Papua New Guinea; Samoa 0-33 Cook Islands; Australia 54-0 Solomon Islands; Papua New Guinea 12-5 Cook Islands; Tonga 21-0 Solomon Islands; Fiji 25-5 Samoa; Australia 45-5 Tonga; Cook Islands 57-0 Solomon Islands; Samoa 10-25 Papua New Guinea; Fiji 38-0 Tonga’ Australia 43-0 Cook Islands; Papua New Guinea 45-0 Solomon Islands

 (Day 2): Papua New Guinea – Tonga; Australia – Samoa; Fiji – Solomon Islands; Samoa – Tonga; Fiji – Cook Islands; Australia - Papua New Guinea; Cook Islands – Tonga; Samoa – Solomon Islands; Australia - Fiji

Team

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

Australia

3

3

0

0

142

0

9

Fiji

3

3

0

0

117

5

9

Papua New Guinea

4

3

0

1

82

69

9

Cook Islands

4

2

0

2

95

55

9

Tonga

3

1

0

2

26

83

5

Solomon Islands

4

0

0

4

0

210

4

Samoa

3

0

0

3

15

86

3

Squads:

Australian Women’s Squad:; Shannon Parry (c); Sharni Williams (c); Tiana Penitani; Mahalia Murphy; Emma Tonegato; Emma Sykes; Hannah Southwell; Shanice Parker; Brooke Anderson; Alicia Quirk; Georgie Friedrichs; Dom Du Toit

Papua New Guinea: 1. Lynnette Kwarula; 2. Debbie Kaore; 3. Kymlie Rapilla; 4. Joanne Lagona; 5. Cassandra Sampson; 6. Taiva Lavai; 7. Geua Larry; 8. Thereseanne Daimol; 9. Helen Abau; 10. Augusta Livuana; 11. Harkana Dixon; 12. Marlugu Dixon

Fiji: 1. Rusila Nagasau; 2. Merewai Cumu; 3. Miriama Naiobasali; 4. Jiowana Sauto; 5. Pricilla Siata; 6. Ana Maria Roqica; 7. Timaima Ravisa; 8. Viniana Riwai; 9. Lavenia Tinai; 10. Asena Yalewalili; 11. Reijieli Daveua; 12. Ana Maria Naimasi

Rugby Americas North

Ten teams are in Port of Spain, Trinidad, for the RAN sevens title: Canada (Maple Leafs); Jamaica; Cayman Islands; Bermuda; Turks & Caicos Islands; Mexico; Trinidad &Tobago; Guyana; Bahamas and Dominican Republic

The RAN Championship (formerly NACRA, and before that the NAWIRA Championship) is one of the world’s oldest sevens titles, being played for annually since 2005.

Whenever they have entered, the tournament has been won by either United States or Canadian teams, including last year when the tournament was also the region’s Olympic qualifier, and was won at a canter by the United States

With the US not competing this year, Maple Leafs start as massive favourites. Canada’s development team (or full team in 2008 and 2012 when this was a World Cup qualifier) have won every tournament they have entered (2007, 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2013). So dominant have they been that 2011 was the only year they ever conceded a try (to non-US opposition), when Trinidad crossed the Canadian line in a pool game.

Mexico runners-up last year, champions in 2014 (when neither the United States nor Canadian took part), and runners-up again in 2013, seem very likely to finish runners-up. Indeed we have to go back to 2010 to find the last Caribbean island winners when Guyana retained the title they had also won in 2009.

However, Guyana are not as strong as they used to be and Trinidad & Tobago – the only island team to have played in the World Series - have been the leading island team in every tournament since 2013, and are most likely to maintain that run with Jamaica the main threat from their Caribbean crown.

This year the Dominican Republic make their international debut – the first new team since 2013 when the Turks & Caicos entered for the first time.

Draw and results

Maple Leafs squad: Olivia Apps, Aurora Barbarians (Lindsay, ON) ; Pamphinette Buisa, Ottawa Irish (Gatineau, QC) ; Emma Chown, Kingston Panthers (Barrie, ON) ; Caroline Crossley, Castaway Wanderers (Victoria, BC) ; Sophie De Goede, Castaway Wanderers (Victoria, BC) ; Ashley Gordon, Brampton Beavers (Brampton, ON) ; Nakisa Levale, Abbotsford (Abbotsford, BC) ; Kaili Lukan, Unattached (Barrie, ON) ; Breanne Nicholas (captain), London St. Georges (Blenheim, ON); Denise Roy, Castaway Wanderers (Duncan, BC) ; Erika Scott, Ormstown Saracens (Dewittville, QC); Keyara Wardley, Okotoks Lions (Vulcan, AB)