Favourites Fiji claimed double Pacific Games rugby sevens gold in contrasting styles as the men breezed to a dominant win over Samoa, while their women were made to work hard for a narrow victory in their clash with Australia on a thrilling night of action here.
Both teams went into their respective tournaments with high levels of expectation and they were able to deliver as the women began Fiji's evening of superiority with a slender 12-10 win over a stout Australian side that had harboured hopes of an upset.
The men’s final was in stark contrast to that of the women's with the gulf in class between the two sides evident from the outset as the Sevens World Series champions romped to a comfortable 33-7 victory.
The evening did not start well for the Fijian women, though, as Australia’s Georgina Friedrichs found space to touch down in the corner, which got her side off to the best possible start.
Fiji hit back, however, as Ana Roqica levelled proceedings following good work from Rusila Tamoi, whose powerful, driving run put her team in an excellent scoring position.
The hard-fought nature of the contest continued after the break as both sides sought to seize the upper hand, and Australia were faced with an uphill battle when Friedrichs was shown a yellow card for infringing at the break-down.
That left them with a one woman disadvantage which Fiji were able to capitalise on when Timaima Ravisa launched a raid into opposition territory and was able to pop the ball to Litia Naiqato, who went under the posts to put her side ahead.
Australia showed their resilience and reduced the arrears to just two points to 12-10 thanks to captain Nicole Beck, but her attempted conversion flew wide of the post and with that went the chances of an Aussie comeback.
Fiji then held on to secure a tense victory that was the prelude for another commanding display from the men’s side.
Samoa’s ball handling let them down in key areas of the pitch and after a fumble inside the 22-metres line, Kitione Dawai chipped forward before touching down to set the tone for a trouble-free victory.
As the rain grew heavier and the surface began to cut up, Dawai added a second try shortly afterwards, seemingly walking through a non-existent Samoan defence, before they were able to score a third as the match approached half-time, which all but sealed the gold medal.
With the fate of the title effectively decided, Fiji began to play with even more freedom and the fourth was the pick of the match, involving slick passing and crafty movement that saw them take the ball from underneath their own posts all the way to the other end of the pitch.
They were not done yet, however, as they registered another score before Samoa were able to marginally reduce the deficit, but it mattered little as Fiji saw out an emphatic win.
Papua New Guinea cruised to women’s bronze, thanks to a 15-0 success over New Caledonia.
Tonga won men’s bronze with a 19-12 victory over the hosts in a match that also served as a qualifier for the Hong Kong Sevens event in April next year.