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Men’s 7s aiming for redemption

Tuesday 28 November 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Pacific Games 2023, Rugby Union, Sports

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Men’s 7s  aiming for redemption
The Cook Islands 7s men’s team played against Vanuatu this week. LOSIRENE LACANIVALU/23112511

The Cook Islands 7s rugby teams are determined to return to the next Pacific Games better prepared to make an impact.

At the 2023 Pacific Games in Honiara, Solomon Islands, the national men’s side won its opening match in Pool C against Nauru 27-0. However, the side lost to Tonga 21-0.

Samoa defeated Cook Islands 36-0 in their third match, and against Vanuatu, Cook Islands went down 7-12.

The Andrew Iroa-coached side faced Solomon Islands in the 7th/8th place playoffs and lost 7-15.

Two-time Olympic gold medallists Fiji won gold, Samoa settled for silver and Tonga managed bronze medal.

The national men’s team to the Pacific Games was made up of Rarotonga players including some development players who are determined to return to the next Pacific Games in 2027.

Coach Iroa said the players would also get a chance to play in the annual Oceania 7s held towards the end the year, adding the tournament “is a positive influence for the team”.

He said the Oceania 7s tournament would be a key part of their four-year programme targeting the next Pacific Games.

The women’s team finished in seventh spot at the Pacific Games.

In their opening match against Solomon Islands, Cook Islands lost 5-22 before going down to Wallis and Futuna 12-22, 0-60 to Fiji and 12-21 to American Samoa.

In the play-offs, Cook Islands defeated Nauru 34-0 to place seventh.

Fiji won gold, Papua New Guinea settled for silver and Wallis and Futuna managed bronze medal in the women’s competition.