Reality check for McGrath, Samoa
Samoa 7s rugby coach Damian McGrath knows how tough to be competitive on the World Sevens Series. A week after their stunning victory in Paris, the Manu managed just one win in five matches at the London 7s. Samoa finished bottom of their pool on day one and, after holding off Russia 22-17 in the bowl quarter finals, were beaten 22-21 by Australia in the semifinals. “A lot of teams were leg-weary and I found it hard to get up,”McGrath told World Rugby. “We were emotionally and physically drained I think from the week before. I didn’t realise just how much it had taken out of us until we started playing. Three of the defeats we had were by the odd point - one score. But we were the architects of ajor sponsors Vodafone labeled the back- to-back win of the World Sevens Series title by the Vodafone Fijian 7s team in London as colossal.
Vodafone Fiji chief executive officer Pradeep Lal said: “It’s awesome, its magnificent it’s an absolutely fantastic feeling for our team to finish on top of the World Sevens Series for 2016.” “The team has proven for the two years in a row that Fiji are the King of 7s.
“We congratulate all the players for their contribution, sacrifice and dedication throughout the season for the glory they have bestowed on our tiny nation. “We also acknowledge the master tactician and coach Ben Ryan, team management and the support staff for their contribution.
“It has all come to fruition with the successful defence of the series title. The team has certainly punched above its weight and delivered a very consistent performance throughout the season to come out victorious in our own downfall in those games - we could and should have done much better. The plus-side for me was that we took a gamble and played with them and they didn’t the end.
A victory celebration is planned upon return of the team on tomorrow where the players are expected to be rewarded with series winning bonus and other prizes.
The fans will also be invited to join in the celebrations.
Vodafone, FRU plan party Vodafone and the Fiji Rugby Union organise celebration when the team returns on Wednesday. The team arrives on Wednesday morning at the Nadi International Airport and fly straight to Nausori International Airport. The team will then be hosted to a function at the Vodafone headquarters in Tamavua after which they will be at Suva’s Ratu Sukuna Park where the main celebrations take place.
Players will be given their cash bonuses and prizes at the celebrations.
Fiji won the series with 181 points while South Africa finished second with 171 points. Edited by Filipe Naigulevu
We were emotionally and physically drained I think from the week before. I didn’t realise just how much it had taken out of us until we started playing. Three of the defeats we had were by the odd point - one score. Damian McGrath Samoa 7s rugby coach
make them any worse so we’re going home with an almost fully-fit squad. which is a big plus considering our bigger prize is a few weeks away in the Olympics repechage in June.” Meanwhile, McGrath says Selesele’s selection in the Dream Team of the Series is richly deserved. The others are Osea Kolinisau, Jasa Veremalua, Virimi Vakatawa, Seabelo Senatla, Kwagga Smith and Perry Baker. “With players like that why shouldn’t we be confident (about qualifying for Rio next month)? They’ve worked hard...The Fiji team they beat in the final in Paris was Fiji’s all-star team - it was their best of the best - so if we can beat teams like that why should we be worried if we can’t get some of our 15 stars in there? These boys have proved they can match it with the best.” Olympic repechage set for Monaco, Dublin The final World Rugby sevens qualification for the Rio Olympics will be held in Monaco and Dublin next month. The Stade Louis II in Monaco will host the men’s tournament on June 18-9, 2016 while Dublin’s UCD Bowl will host the women’s repechage a week later on June 25-26. A total of 16 men’s teams will compete in Monaco for the one remaining place and they are: Uruguay, Chile, Canada, Mexico, Spain, Russia, Germany, Ireland, Hong Kong, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tonga, Samoa, Zimbabwe, Morocco and Tunisia. The winner will join Fiji, South Africa, New Zealand, Great Britain, Argentina, USA, France, Japan, Australia, Kenya and hosts Brazil at Rio 2016. Edited by Filipe Naigulevu