February 10, 2003, Nausori, Fiji — The US National Women's Sevens Team was surprised by a 7-0 loss to Touchdown, the Fiji national touch team in a 6-team tournament won by the Touch team.
There was a final match, however and a chance for redemption, as a Fiji national team selected as a result of the tournament, containing 7 of the same Touch players, faced a very different US team in this match immediately prior to the championship final of the Lomaiviti Sevens at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori.
With a stifling defense that not only shut down every Fiji move but also resulted in numerous turnovers, the US began with a try by Jo Ward after good defensive pressure and running off the ball. Pam Kosanke made the touchline conversion, wowing the crowd.
More crushing tackling resulted in a long Kosanke break finished off by captain Katrinka Blunt and tour baby Ashley Farmer finished the scoring. Kosanke converted all 3 tries for a 21-0 victory.
In previous games, the US defeated Nukuvuto 40-0 and Teivovo Gals 14-0. Teivovo was bolstered by "ringer" Tiffany Capdeville, former U-23 player and Collegiate MVP.
Pam Kosanke scored 2 tries, and one each by Liz Reed, Jen Sinkler, Jo Ward and Ashley Farmer rounded out the scoring in the Nukuvuto game (4 conversions by Kosanke, one by Ward), and Jen Sinkler scored both tries in the Teivovo game, with Kosanke making both conversions. The US finished the weekend with a 3-1 victory and most importantly the important test victory.
The team has had a wonderful tour of Fiji, with three days at the Fiji Beach House on the Coral Coast preceding their move to Suva. They trained at the local village field and were welcomed at the Navola village community hall for a ceremony of gift giving.
The team would like to thank Jeremy Duxbury of Teivovo Magazine and teivovo.com for making the tour possible and for hosting the post-match reception.
The US moves on to Whangarei, New Zealand, where they will participate in a sevens tournament next weekend. The Fiji national women's team will head to Hong Kong for the first time in 6 years.