An entertaining night of seven’s rugby ended with a surprise win for Warrigals in the final.
Warrigals may lead the Mount Isa Rugby Union standings for 2016-17 but sevens is the national game of Fiji and a Fijian select side had taken all before them on the way to the final – including a convincing win over Warrigals in the round robin of five teams.
But Warrigals played with a finals intensity in the final game to run out winners by three tries to two.
It was a long and exhausting night for the players on the spongy Alma Street turf, which had plenty of space with just 14 men on the field at any one time.
Five teams lined up for the night: Warrigals, Keas, Cloncurry, Fijians and Rebels.
The teams played each other once in eight-minute halves with the top two going into the final, and there was also a third and fourth place play-off.
It was clear Warrigals and Fijians were the best two teams, beating all the other teams, but when Fijians smashed Warrigals 27-10 in game 6 it seemed their fast-running players would be the decisive factor in the final.
But Warrigals muscled up in the final, taking the lead twice with Fijians coming back each time.
A superhuman tackle stopped what seemed a decisive Fijian try and Warrigals came down the other end to snatch a surprise but merited victory.
Keas and Cloncurry were due to play in the last match of the round robin but by then it was obvious they were going to finish third and fourth respectively so their game was turned into the the third place play-off.
There was little between them going into the game so it was no surprise they could not be separated in the play-off, scoring one converted try each.
Results from the night: Game 1 Warrigals 19, Cloncurry 0; game 2 Fijians 28 Keas 7; game 3 Warrigals 20, Rebels 0; game 4 Fijians 29 Cloncurry 19; game 5 Keas 36, Rebels 0; game 6 Fijians 27, Warrigals 10; game 7 Cloncurry 24, Rebels 19; game 8 Warrigals 35, Keas 12; game 9 Fijians 33, Rebels 0.
Third place play-off: Cloncurry 7, Keas 7
Final: Warrigals 21, Fijians 14