The Auckland Marist Samoa made history last weekend hosting a first ever 7s tournament in Auckland, New Zealand.
The tournament took place last week at the Norana Park, Favona Road, Mangere on the 18th of November.
A total of 16 teams competed for the tournament’s trophy where Marist Saints came out on top after an exciting final clash against the only team from Samoa, the Faleata Knights.
The tournament’s launch took place on the Thursday, 16th November at the Otahuhu Rugby Club.
All the teams and managements, as well as the Auckland Samoa President, Aiolupo John Roache and the Samoan Consul in New Zealand, General Faletoi Reupena Pogi, were on hand to launch the tournament.
According to Auckland Marist Samoa’s media officer, Atapana Fa’aui, the tournament was history making for New Zealand since the inception of the Association of Marist Old Pupils in New Zealand.
“It’s the first ever tournament of its kind here in New Zealand since the Saint Joseph’s Old Boys 7 Girls Association was established here in New Zealand under President Leota Isaako.
“The tournament was an old initiative by the Marist Old Pupils but it wasn’t successful.
“From there the Marist Association, under Leota Isaako, called on a committee to run the tournament with Tuala Sila Vaifale as the Tournament Director, a Marist Association and a former Manu Samoa, assisted by Kalolo Toleafoa and Lemalu Ben Silva.”
The Auckland Samoa Champions, Lauli’i Lions were among the 16 teams vying for the top spot, with Auckland Rugby Union Club 7s Champions, University Rugby Club.
Speranzza22 team also came into the tournament as favorites after winning the North Harbour Glenfield 7s Championship and Rarotonga 7s tournament, with Highlanders star, Tevita Li playing in that team.
Whakatane Fijians was the only Fijian team that competed in the tournament after the late pull out of Waikato Fijians.
Bowl Final Winner :Tamatoa
Tamatoa 25 vs 12 Auckland Reds
Cash prize - $500 + Taula Box (24x)
Plate Final Winner :SalevaoNofoali’i
SalevaoNofoali’i 19 vs 17
Cash Prize - $1,000 + Taula Box (24x)
Runner Up - Lauli’i Lions
Cash Prize - $700 + Taula Box (24x)
Cup Winner & First Auckland Marist Samoa 7s tournament in NZ won by Marist Saints.
Cash prize - $5,000 + Taula Box (24x)
Runner Up - Faleata Knights
Cash prize- $1,500 + (24x)
Player of the tournament :Epeli Lotawa (Marist Saints)
Ball boy of the tournament: Bismark Leota