Courtesy of the Illawarra Mercury;
They never played together previously and had trouble remembering each other’s names.
But by the end of the day, a ragtag bunch of Fijians had taken out the Kiama Rugby Sevens in entertaining style.
Playing under the name of team sponsor Kiama Inn, the squad consisted of players from various country areas.
After kicking off the annual seaside tournament with a 14-5 over Illawarra-based side Avondale, Kiama Inn upset favourites West Harbour 10-7.
A 14-5 defeat of Uni Norths was next before Kiama Inn drew 12-all with Manly and advanced on a countback.
Taking on Tupou College from Tonga in the semi-final, Kiama Inn prevailed 26-7, setting up a meeting with Parramatta in the final.
They completed the fairy tale with a 24-17 triumph in the decider.
‘‘The boys didn’t know much about each other at the start of the day but you wouldn’t have known it watching them play,’’ Kiama Inn coach Mark Bryant said.
‘‘They only dropped about two balls all day and it was like they’d been together for a few years.
‘‘Kiama Inn is a sponsor of Kiama Rugby Club and they just wanted to have a Kiama Inn team in the Sevens. It started as a chat over a beer – just an idea to bring some blokes together and give them an opportunity to be involved – and it’s culminated in winning the whole thing. The guys played great rugby all day and deserved to win it.’’
The Ha’ateiho Spartans beat Tupou College 17-12 in the third v fourth playoff, Queensland downed the ACT Brumbies 17-12 in the women’s final, Kiama prevailed 17-12 over Engadine in the Country Cup and West Harbour conquered Southern Districts 28-17 in the Bowl final.
‘‘We had a fantastic day,’’ Kiama Sevens games manager Richard Statham said.
‘‘The weather was perfect and the rugby was great. The crowd got bigger as the day progressed and I’m sure everyone enjoyed themselves.’’