Thirteen – Lucky for Some
Royal Navy Sharks captain, Manoa Satala, is hoping that thirteen will be his lucky number. Following trials at Wasps Twyford Avenue training ground, Manoa has been selected for the World Club 7’s 13th team. The seven selected players will be available at Twickenham to provide injury cover in case any of the twelve participants loose a squad member to injury. Last year, Huw Bevan (Barnes RFC) was selected and collected a winner’s medal with the ACT Brumbies. Manoa will be hoping for a similar experience as he returns to Twickenham seven years after winning his final Navy cap in 2007.
Currently eleven out of the twelve World Clubs 7’s teams are known. They include the Blues from Auckland, New South Wales Waratahs and South Africa’s Western Province. Clubs from Argentina, Russia, USA, Wales and England are also represented.
The final team will be the winner from Friday’s final of the Premiership Rugby 7’s competition. This season’s competition saw two Royal Navy Sharks, Toots Vakalutukali and Sevanaia Naulago, play for London Welsh in Pool D. A narrow win in the opening match against Sale Sharks (15-14) was followed by a three-point loss to Leicester Tigers (17-14). This left London Welsh needing a bonus point win against home side, Newcastle Falcons, to progress to Friday’s final at the Twickenham Stoop. It was the Falcons that started more strongly and their 7-0 half time lead had all but dashed London Welsh’s faintest hopes. The final score was extended to 14-5 and the Falcons joined the Tigers as pool D’s representatives in the final.
From a Royal Navy Sharks perspective it has proved excellent recognition for their performances this season. With the last tournament still to be played at Harpenden the squad will no doubt be looking to finish their season on a high and should benefit from the recent experiences of Manoa, Toots and Sevania.
Future Royal Navy Sharks fixtures:
Harpenden National Pub Sevens, Sunday 24 August 2014
Images by Alligin Photography / © G Ashton Jones and courtesy of Billy May