Sunday, 2 September 2007 5:34 PM

SPG Updates: Soccer, Rugby 7s

The Solomon Islands soccer team sent a strong message to other medal contenders by defeating Vanuatu 2 - 0 in a display of class and precision football.

SOCCER

The Solomon Islands soccer team showed why they are one of the best in Oceania by dominating most of the game through the likes of Fa'arodo, Menapi, Mamae, Molea and Bebeu up front. The defence was also rock solid with Takayama, Omokirio and Suri displaying Ariel supremacy.

The first half ended nil all as both team played steady but cautious football. Solomon Islands struck first in the second half through Bebeu. Junior Fa'arodo put the game beyond reach with a smart finish after some clumsy defending by Vanuatu. The Solomon Islands will now play their last pool match against hosts Samoa.

RUGBY 7s

The Solomon Islands Rugby 7s team was given a taste of what it takes to play against World class teams when they went up against Fiji in the semi finals.

The Solomon Islands were not fazed by the mighty Fijians, holding the score line to a respectable 17 - 0 at half time. The second half began with the Fijians out to show their supremacy in the sevens code, scoring tries almost at will. The game ended 48 - 0 in favor of the Fijians who, with their skills and sheer size, seemed to overwhelm the very determined Solomon Islanders.

The Solomon Islands took on Papua New Guinea in the bronze medal match. PNG took control of the first half making good use of its height and speed resulting in two quick tries. The Solomon Islands, visibly tired from their encounter with the Fijians, managed to pull one back before half time through Edmund Tai. The first half ended 12-5 in favor of PNG.

The second half was a one sided affair after a Solomon Islands player was given his marching orders from a dangerous tackle. PNG took advantage of the situation and scored three quick unanswered tries, bagging the bronze for PNG. The match ended 31-5.

Being the first Rugby 7s outing since the South Pacific Games in Guam, the Solomon Islands has shown that, in future, it could be a potential medalist. Finishing 4th is not a bad start for the Solomon Islands, given their lack of exposure in the 7s code.