New rugby 7s format to encourage urgency

Standing from the baclk left, Malakai Waqa, R.C.Manubhai Regional Manager Central and Northern Shanil Patel, Eroni Dakuwaqa, Isei Turaga and Solo Finau. Front left Vuniani Dakuwaqa and Group Marketing Manager Atish Singh during the launch yesterday. Picture: ATU RASEA

The RC Manubhai Nataleira 7/14 Sevens tournament is bringing a new format to the local rugby scene that encourages players to practice “urgency” during matches – with $100 rewards for ‘individual goal-line to goal-line tries’.

There are also monetary rewards for the ‘fastest team try’ from kick-off in a match of seven seconds or less and no more than 14 seconds.

The tournament will be held on February 23 to 25 at the Natalaira Village ground in Dawasamu, Tailevu.

Tournament co-ordinator Solo Finau, who is the brains behind the 7/14 format, said the “incentive boosters” were introduced for players and team management to help “reinvent, invigorate and revolutionise the way they play the game with urgency” at local tournaments.

Bonus points will be up for grabs during matches for tries scored under the posts and for a converted try, drop goal and penalty all in one half of a match.

Teams will be penalised for time wasting in scrums and line-outs – with a five-second period given for play to continue.

“It’s all part of an incentive for players not to waste time and get down to business,” Finau said.

“The urgency is to play to the time and stop time wasting. We need to coach players to use the time available to gain as much points as possible.”

He said this could help the national team on the world stage.

RC Manubhai group marketing manager Atish Singh said sponsoring the event was “part our community duty to ensure that we are helping build a pathway for future sevens superstars”.

Nataleira Youth 7s committee chairman Eroni Dakuwaqa said funds raised from the tournament would be directed to rebuilding their church which was destroyed by Cyclone Winston.

Meanwhile, 32 men’s and 16 women’s teams will be fielded in the three-day tournament.

The men’s winner will receive $3000 while the women’s champion will walk away with $2000.

Registration is open and fees for men’s teams is $300 and women’s $200.

All payments are to be paid through M-PAiSA platform to Eroni Dakuwaqa (9299681) or Solo Finau (8903865).

Registration closes on February 17.

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