Fijiana XV Secures Direct Qualification to Rugby World Cup 2025

Sun, Jun 2, 2024, 4:04 PM
by Oceania

Brisbane, June 2, 2024 - The final round of the Oceania Rugby Women's Championships concluded with thrilling matches that showcased the talent and determination of the participating teams. Fiji emerged victorious in a hard-fought battle against Samoa, winning 27-13, while Tonga secured a commanding 39-5 victory over Papua New Guinea.

With these results, Fiji has directly qualified for the Rugby World Cup 2025, and both Fiji and Samoa have earned spots in the WXV 3 competition later this year.

Round 3 Highlights

Fiji vs. Samoa

In the much-anticipated clash between Fiji and Samoa, the Fijiana XV demonstrated their superior preparation and cohesive teamwork. Fiji's vice-captain, Merewai Cumu, expressed her gratitude, saying, "We’ve been preparing well just for this tournament for us to qualify. I’d like to thank the girls for a job well done for today and the coaching staff for trusting us throughout the whole tournament. We’ve had our ups and downs but I thank God for giving us the strength to keep fighting."

Reflecting on their journey, Cumu added, "I can say that the bond of the team is really strong. And you can see during the game, we play our own style and we’ve trusted each other. We’ve just been training for this tournament, to win this competition so that we can qualify for the World Cup. I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy and that Samoa was going to come hard at us and you can see that just a few moments ago. I’m proud of the girls for keep fighting until the final whistle."

Samoa's captain, Sui Pauraisa, shared her team's sentiments, "We’re feeling really disappointed but we’ve talked about this before and we’ve got another chance in Dubai to go again and hopefully we will be in the World Cup next year because I know Samoa deserves to be in there. Our girls have only just met together and trained just for a week leading up to this competition, so I’m very proud of our girls and to be able to play and hold on in the last 10 minutes with 13 players is really big."

Tonga vs. Papua New Guinea

Tonga's performance against Papua New Guinea was a testament to their improved execution and strategy. Tonga's captain, Vineta Teutau, remarked, "The positives out of this match were that the last two games we really couldn’t execute our structure but in this game we did pretty well in doing that."

Papua New Guinea, despite their challenges, showed resilience and determination. Their captain, Joanne Lagona, noted, "We made a lot of mistakes in the first half and then we went in at half time and we talked about defending because the first half, our defence was not good and they scored a few tries.”

Tournament Summary

The 2024 Oceania Rugby Women's Championships not only highlighted the competitive spirit of the teams but also underscored the growth and potential of women's rugby in the region. Fiji's consistent performance throughout the tournament secured them a direct qualification spot for the Rugby World Cup 2025 in England. Both Fiji and Samoa will also compete in the WXV 3 competition later this year, providing further opportunities to showcase their skills on the international stage.

The final round matches saw the Sunnybank Rugby Union Club field packed out as supporters came out in numbers to watch their teams. The thrilling encounters have set a high standard for future competitions and have been a celebration of women's rugby.