2017 CC7s: Aussie Teams Retain Titles, As Men Continue Dominance

2017 CC7s: Aussie Teams Retain Titles, As Men's Side Continue Dominance

The 2017 Central Coast Sevens (CC7s) ended in style yesterday, hosted by the Wyong Rugby League Club Grounds. Aussie teams retained their respective titles, as the Men’s side continues their dominance against Fiji at the 2017 CC7s.

Plenty of action saw thrilling matches witnessed during the event, which was live streamed all over the world. Bar TV Sports, in conjunction with the organizers, broadcast the event from the Central Coast league grounds. Through viewers online, the 2017 CC7s tourney was able to break their previous viewing records. It is a big testimony to how far the tournament has developed a strong reputation, and continues to grow.

Plenty of new talent was unearthed with Fiji Barbarians (baabaas), Canada, Kiwis, Fijiana women’s sides and all conquering Aussie ‘shadow national’ teams that were testing out new talent and combinations.

The Olympians on show in particular, brought their wide skills-base with Pio Tuwai as exciting as ever, along with the experience of 2017 CC7s ambassador Jesse Parahi.

Aussie Teams Retain CC7s Title, As Men’s Side Continues Dominance

The James Stannard led Aussie Gold side continued its form from the Oktoberfest Sevens, to retain their Central Coast title. The mix of youth and seasoned campaigners had little trouble, stretching out at times. In addition to that, they defeated a much more strengthened Fiji Baabaas side, that had three Rio gold medallists this weekend.

The Aussie side ran away to a 14-0 early lead in the final, with Fiji Barbarians scoring just at the halftime hooter 14-5. The proud Fijians fought back, but it was too late, as the more assured Aussies held on 19-17 to win.

“They often say losing can be contagious but winning is also contagious. And it breeds confidence, and the boys have definitely got confidence,” was Aussie 7s head coach Andy Friend’s appraisal to rugby.com.au

Maurice Longbottom continues to shine with the Aussie Sevens team. He is an ideal replacement for the nippy Henry Hutchison; who has picked up a Super Rugby contract. Regular try scorer John Porch, together with Tim Anstee and Lachie Anderson, have really gelled together. That group will go a long way in the upcoming HSBC Sevens Series.

The Fiji Barbarians will regroup, and some of them will head off to the Silicon Valley Sevens in the United States, while the rest will head home for the Oceania Sevens next week.

2017 Kinesio Cup – Australia Too Strong

The Australian girls outclassed their rivals Fijiana in the Cup quarterfinals, and then dealt to a NZ Development team in the semifinal. They then regrouped to meet the Canadaian maple Leaf 7s in the final. With a star-studded side filled with Olympic gold medallists they were unstoppable, and retained their 2016 title.

They defeated Canada in the final 29-12. The Canadians had a good hit out though, with many new players coming through. They will be ready for the Aussies at the HSBC Dubai Sevens, in December.

Fijiana have plenty to work on, from match fitness to game awareness. It was their first international outing for the season, and they will only learn from this as they become accustomed to regularly playing the ‘big guns’ like Australia.

Cook Islands will be thankful for all they learned at the 2017 CC7s, heading into the Oceania Sevens tournament. They will have to work on their combinations and systems, to stood a chance to challenge Samoa and Papua New Guinea.

Just the one spot is up for grabs for the Women’s pool of the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens event, in San Francisco. A huge reward, so this weekend will be invaluable.

2017 CC7s Tournament Directors Reaction – Craig Morgan Interview

Plenty of Positives

“81,000 viewers [via livestream] on Saturday is very pleasing. The profile of the tournament continues to rise, based on the quality of the tournaments organisation. It attracted the international teams and audience, which further raised the profile,” said Craig Morgan.

“We are very pleased with the tournament overall. The quality of games were very high, culminating in two great finals, with four of the worlds best teams.”

Looking at the Downside

“Only disappointing thing for us is some of the comments towards the referee for the men’s final. You know referees have a thankless job, and often receive unfair criticism. With fans looking for someone to blame when their team does not win,” was Craig’s honest comments.
Fijiana winger Tima Ravisa also expressed her frustration, with Fijian media comments;

CC7s tournament director Craig Morgan echoed her sentiment.

“Fiji media need to show support for Fijiana they are a very good side and Fiji must get behind them and support them.”

“They are humble, and very pleasant ladies who deserve support as they will be wonderful ambassadors for Fiji”.

Morgan and his team have done a terrific job [again] and the three days were a total success for visitors and locals alike.


2017 CC7s: The LOWDOWN

Players of the Finals:

“Maurice Longbottom is a very exciting addition to the Australian team, Jerry Tuwai was always dangerous, and Emma Sykes was outstanding”. The verdict from Craig Morgan to LWOR after the finals.

Women’s: Emma Sykes (Australia)
Men’s: John Porch (Aussie Gold) – see below.

2017 Kinesio Cup Final

Australia 29 Canada Maple Leafs 12

2017 UON Cup Final

Australia Gold 19 Fiji Barbarians 17

Day Two Results:

Kinesio Cup Quarterfinals

Australia – Fijiana 34-0
NZ Development – Sunnybank 17-7
Canada – Pride 7s 33-5
Stars Rugby 7s – UQ 17-0

UON Cup Quarterfinals

Australia Gold 43-7 NSW Waratah 7s
Stallions 26-19 Island Breeze
Fiji Barbarians 45-0 Uluinakau 
Australia Green 17-40 Tabadamu

Kinesio Cup Semifinals

Australia 34 NZ Development 12 |  Canada 33 Stars Rugby 7s 10

UON Cup Semifinals

Australia Gold 33 Stallions 12 | Fiji Barbarians 28 Tabadamu 14

2017 CC7s Plate Division

Women’s semifinals: Fijiana 33 Pride 7s 12 | Sunnybank 17 UQ 10

Men’s semifinals: NSW Waratah 7s 24 Uluinakau 0 | Island Breeze 19 Australia Green 28

CC7s Ball Division

Women’s semifinals: Central North 5 Sydney Uni 15 | Avoca Beach 19 Randwick Magic 14

Men’s semifinals: ACT Brumbies 17 Iconz 22 | Australian Unis 12 Uni Queensland 19

CC7s Boot Division

Women’s semifinals: West Harbour 12 Hunter 33 | Cook Islands 17 ACT Brumbies 12

Men’s semifinals: Stars Rugby 7s 19 Liverpool 7 | Sunnybank 12 West Harbour 17

The event was a complete success. Three days of ‘sevens heaven’ with good weather, healthy competition and a well operated event. What more can fans and players ask for.

Looking forward to the 2018 Central Coast Sevens!

All Photos of the Central Coast Sevens Courtesy of Craig Morgan and Team