Kiwi sevens too strong for Fijians in Byron final

INTERNATIONAL FLAVOUR: Teams from Australia and overseas competed in the rugby sevens at the Byron Bay Recreation Ground.
INTERNATIONAL FLAVOUR: Teams from Australia and overseas competed in the rugby sevens at the Byron Bay Recreation Ground. Mia Armitage

THE Kiwis may have lost the rugby league and netball tests at the weekend but a team of New Zealand raiders took out the annual Byron Bay Sevens rugby tournament.

Melville Rugby Club, from the Hamilton region in the North Island, defeated Fijian outfit Nadro Navosa 33-0 in the final yesterday afternoon.

Unlike some teams that play the Noosa, Byron and Central Coast sevens in successive weeks, Melville arrived in Byron Bay only on Friday and will head back across the Tasman today.

They targeted the event as a launching pad for the sevens season in New Zealand, last year winning the Wakiato and national tournaments.

Melville, a strong club team from a strong rugby region, lost in the semi-finals at Byron Bay last year.

In an all-Brisbane women's final yesterday, Sunnybank defeated the University of Queensland 29-15.

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Tournament director Matt Barlow said that with 45 teams in all, it had been a great weekend.

"Early in the week there had been some bad weather forecast but the sun shone and all games were played in the right spirit,” he said.

"We estimated that about 1500 players and support staff were in town for the weekend.”

The carnival usually features Sydney Shute Shield, Queensland Premier Division and Australian Sevens players.

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