‘A’ game against Aussies, put us top of 7s world

Fiji Sun - - Comment -

The way they out­played Aus­tralia was sim­ply not a sign of a team bat­tling to sur­vive. They did it in clin­i­cal style that won praise from Aus­tralia 7s coach Andy Friend.

Con­grat­u­la­tions to the Voda­fone Fi­jian 7s team, coach Ben Ryan and man­age­ment for re­tain­ing the World Sevens Se­ries yes­ter­day in London. It’s an­other mile­stone for our small coun­try with lim­ited re­sources to win our first back-to-back se­ries ti­tle since the tour­na­ment started in 1999.

Most fans doubted Fiji’s sur­viv­ing Pool B af­ter a shock start go­ing down 10-31 to Eng­land in their first pool game. Our men were put to the test with a sim­ple mes­sage from Ryan - win it or lose the se­ries. It would be a mon­u­men­tal catas­tro­phe if we lose our grip af­ter we led the se­ries from the first tour­na­ment in Dubai and go­ing 14 points clear in the last tour­na­ment in London.

Our men needed to fight to the death to stay alive, and fight they did in de­mol­ish­ing Wales 42-5. And the way they out­played Aus­tralia was sim­ply not a sign of a team bat­tling to sur­vive. They did it in clin­i­cal style that won praise from Aus­tralia 7s coach Andy Friend.

“You sim­ply can’t play like that against Fiji, I’m dis­ap­pointed,” he said. “The Fi­jians stood the test, we didn’t.” Friend was con­fi­dent his team can beat the Fi­jians and even win­ning the London 7s de­spite their nar­row loss to Eng­land 10-7. They pressed hard in the open­ing ex­changes and al­most scored mid­way through the first half be­fore cough­ing up pos­ses­sion on the Fi­jian goal line. On the same play, the world cham­pi­ons ran the length of the field to open the scor­ing through Samisoni Viriviri, and never looked back.

Two tries in each half tore the Aussies to shreds, leav­ing them third in Pool B be­hind home side Eng­land and the ram­pant Fi­jians. Ryan ap­plauded the per­for­mance against Aus­tralia. “It feels bril­liant, we re­bounded fan­tas­ti­cally,” Ryan said. “You can never re­ally be sure but in that chang­ing room it was in their eyes, they weren’t go­ing to let Aus­tralia score and they played such good rugby. “It is out­stand­ing, we have had an up and down day in 7s which can be like that but that per­for­mance against Aus­tralia was un­be­liev­able.”

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