MEGA GALLERY: 100+ photos from Roma rugby 7s
Rugby union: The Roma Echidnas women’s side made its debut and several local teams switched codes for the Roma rugby sevens tournament on the weekend.
More than 750 people flocked to Gallas Fox Park on Saturday, where 17 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams vied for glory at one of Queensland’s toughest rugby competitions.
While the UQ side towered above the rest of the women’s competition, leaving their opponents scoreless in the cup final, the men’s game was a nailbiter.
Brisbane Fiji narrowly defeated Island Breeze, 10-7, while UQ women beat competition first-timers Noosa Dolphins 38-0.
Player Atunaisa Vukaloto said the team was ecstatic being able to head back to Brisbane with a huge chunk of prize money.
“We worked together as teammates and we always play for one another which I think shows on the field,” he said.
“The boys put in a lot of hard work so it’s good to come home with the win today.”
Vukaloto said while they knew they would have their work cut out for them after witnessing Island Breeze’s powerhouse performances all day, it was preparation that sealed three-point win.
“After each of our games, we would talk about what could have been done better on the field and then we would go out and just do it,” he said.
“It’s tough for us because both teams know each other from home, we’ve been playing sevens together since we were young.”
The celebration for Brisbane Fiji will motivate the team to buckle down next week for the upcoming season.
“A win like this is a big confidence boost but we still need to work out what our mistakes were and learn from them,” Vukaloto said.
Tournament manager David Hickey was grateful for the teams that travelled great distances to attend.
“It was a hugely successful day, culminating in two excellent cup finals - UQ Women’s v Noosa Dolphins and the razzle dazzle of Brisbane Fiji just getting up on Island Breeze,” he said.
“A big thankyou to everyone involved, including the volunteers, sponsors; Santos and Royal on Ninety-Nine, Origin, Wild Desert, Enerflex, AGL and MPC Kinetic and Maranoa Regional Council, as well as the Roma Echidnas and Cities RLFC for their dedicated work behind the scenes and support.”
Hickey said the day ran to plan, thanks to Tim Biggs and all the other referees, the work of Tom Zerk, organising teams behind the scenes, making sure they were where they should be when they should be and Craig Nebe and Damien Barsby running the Cities field, keeping scores and generally making sure everything on the field runs on time.
“We are most grateful to the on field medics, Taylah Schutt and Sophie Rackerman. Roma Echidnas’ are always most grateful for their dedicated help and support,” he said.
“Jean Benham and her staff at Vital Health again provided an invaluable services to the player, strapping and physio support to keep everyone going, including the referees.
“Also a thankyou to the people on the main scores desk; Olivia Raeburn, Bec Rolfe, Gen Rogers, Will Earnshaw, Tim Emery and on the PA Rob Goodwin and Nick Cooke.”
He encourages everyone to save the date of Saturday, February 6 for the Roma Rugby 7s next year.