January 16, 2016
Serevi Selects Second At Coral Coast Sevens, Fiji
Photo: Serevi Selects
The Serevi Selects are the United States representative at the Coral Coast Sevens in Sigatoka, Fiji on January 15-16, 2016 . The squad includes several capped Eagles and others that are pushing for inclusion.
The Serevi Selects were drawn into Pool R with NZ Raiders and the Marist Seahawks from Fiji. In pool play NZ Raiders defeated Marist Seahawks 17-5. The Servevi Selects also responded with a 19-0 win against the Marist Seahawks.
Other Pool winners, each 2-0, were the Aussie Pearls and both Fijiana Sevens split squads, Telecom Fijiana Mokosoi and Telecom Fijiana Tagimoucia. In addition to the USA Serevi Selects, these will be the teams to watch in the knockout phase.
The Serevi Selects used a dominant defense in not allowing the Nadi Blazers to reach midfield during the match. Rebekah Siebach opened the scoring with a try in the corner. Later, a Nicole Heavirland offload to Ryan Carlyle resulted in another try. At halftime the score was 10-0 Serevi Selects.
Early in the second half, Danielle Miano showcased her speed in outdistancing the defense for a long distance try. Soon after, a break initiated by Carmer Farmer with multiple offloads ended within 5 meters due to a handling error.
This did not end the Serevi Selects attack, as after several phases, Amy Naber added another try under the posts. Meya Bizer converted. A last try resulted from a savvy Sylvia Braaten pick from a breakdown. The final score was 27-0 to the Serevi Selects.
In an electric semi-final of explosive tries, Telecom Fijiana Mokosoi defeated the two time defending champions the Aussie Pearls and advanced to the Cup Final. Both of the Fijiana National split sides earned spots in the semi-finals.
The second Cup Semi-final matched the Serevi Selects with the Telecom Fijiana Tagimoucia. The Fijiana side took an early lead after a missed tackle. (0-7). It didn’t take long for the Serevi Selects to answer back as Kelsi Stockert received an offload from Meya Bizer and this resulted in a try. Nicole Heavirland added another after multiple team touches. A third try was scored on an intercepted pass by Sylvia Braaten for a 15-7 halftime lead.
In the second half, a yellow card was issued to Fijiana for multiple infractions. A quick tap by Nicole Heavirland resulted in her second try. Heavirland soon after gained a hat trick as she grubbed the ball ahead and pounced on the ball in-goal. The last try for the Serevi Selects came as Kelsi Stockert received an offload and outpaced the defense for her second try. Lauren Rhode converted and the final result was 32-7.
The Cup Final will see the Serevi Selects play the Telecom Fijiana Mokosoi side. When the Cup winner takes center stage, not only will they win the Crest Na Iri Trophy, but they will win a $20,000 prize. The winner also automatically qualifies for the UON Central Coast Sevens in Australia.
The Cup Final featured Telecom Fijiana Mokosoi against the Serevi Selects. The Fijiana side came into the Final with a narrow win against the Aussie Pearls which was a confidence boost. The Serevi Selects had been dominant so far throughout the tournament outscoring opponents 93 points for, while 7 against.
The early momentum favored Telecom Fijiana Mokosoi as they took advantage of Serevi Selects mistakes during the first half. Three tries were scored with one converted for a 17-0 lead at halftime.
Early in the second half, another Fijiana try increased their lead to 22-0. The Serevi Selects fought to narrow the gap as Meya Bizer broke through the defense and offloaded to Ryan Carlyle for a try. (22-5) At this point there were over five minutes remaining in the match.
It wasn’t to be for the Serevi Selects. The Fijiana captain appeared to be trapped by touch, but sold a dummy that resulted in a try. (5-29). At this point pride was at stake for the Selects and quick hands resulted in a Kelsi Stockert try in the corner. (10-29). A final try for Fijiana resulted in a 36-10 win and the Cup Championship.
The Coral Coast Sevens was an outstanding tournament. The Serevi Selects players gained valuable experience that should help them in the future.
Day 2 Match Results
Aussie Pearls 41-0 Central Chiefs 1
NZ Raiders 10-20 Telecom Fijiana Mokosoi
USA Serevi Selects 27-0 Nadi Blazers
Striders 0-7 Telecom Fijiana Tagimoucia
Central Chiefs 2nd 21-5 Coastline Roos
Marist Seahawks 10-19 Mystic Knights
Central Chiefs 1st 10-17 NZ Raiders
Nadi Blazers 12-33 Striders
Aussie Pearls 19-24 Telecom Fijiana Mokosoi
Serevi Selects 32-7 Telecom Fijiana Tagimoucia
Central Chiefs 2nd 0-26 Mystic Knights
NZ Raiders 12-17 Striders
Cup Final for Crest Na Iri Trophy
Telecom Fijiana Mokosoi 36-10 Serevi Selects
Serevi Selects Squad: Meya Bizer, Sylvia Braaten, Ryan Carlyle, Carmen Farmer, Abby Gustaitis, Nicole Heavirland, Danielle Miano, Amy Naber, Lauren Rhode, Rebekah Siebach, Kelsi Stockert, Abby Vestal, Richie Walker (Head Coach)