Rugby giants face off for another clash
PACIFIC rivals Fiji and Western Samoa shared the same plane into Kai Tak last night and are looking forward to sharing Hong Kong Stadium's new football pitch next Sunday afternoon - in the final of the Rugby Sevens.
Rival captains Waisale Serevi and Lolani Koko are used to facing off. Last year the warriors from Western Samoa came up victors, downing the Fijians 14-12 in one of the most brutal finals the great Hong Kong tournament has ever seen.
And to rub salt into the wounds, Koko edged out Serevi for the coveted Player of the Tournament award.
The defending champions flew in with their formidable reputations intact, having adding the Canberra Sevens to their sack of trophies. The Fijians, however, were forced to watch from the sidelines, having been knocked out by Australia in the semi-finals.
There was to be no dress rehearsal of their seemingly inevitable Hong Kong clash last night, with the rugby giants sidestepping each other in the Customs hall.
The Western Samoan squad came out just as the Fijian team bus was pulling away.
There was some waving from the back of the bus, returned by a few of the Samoans, but it is unlikely there will be any such friendly gestures on the field should they meet on Sunday.
Both will be anxious to stamp their superiority on the world's foremost Sevens tournament. But both teams must first get by preliminary matches. Samoa take on the United States Eagles and Sri Lanka, while Fiji meet South Korea and Sevens newcomers Portugal.