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