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Sevens Set For ‘An Incredible Era’

Sevens Set For ‘An Incredible Era’
The Vodafone Fijians 7s team after winning the 2014/15 Sevens World Series
May 20
08:43 2015

This wonderful game of sevens, invented all those years ago in Melrose, continues to evolve and to excite people, and that was certainly the case in London over the course of two fascinating days of rugby.It was a particularly memorable weekend for two coaches who have had such a big impact on their respective teams: Ben Ryan of Fiji and Mike Friday of the USA.

USA have really bought into Mike’s philosophy of how he wants the game to be played, and you can tell they’re enjoying the experience. It all seemed to click for them in London and when you have that kind of momentum behind you in sevens it almost makes you unstoppable.

All 12 players contributed handsomely to their first Cup win, achieved with victory in the final against the Australians who were simply beaten by a hungrier team.

It’s everyone’s dream to be an Olympian and players from Fiji, the champions, South Africa, New Zealand and England will get to experience what it feels like after qualifying as one of the top four teams from the 2014-15 series.

Of course, the USA have still to qualify for the Olympics. It’s hard to imagine they won’t be there after a performance like that, but the great thing about sevens is that if you’re off your game you’ll get punished. In a month’s time they’ll be playing in the NACRA qualifier where all the Caribbean islands and Canada will be going up against them.

Fiji: flair with renewed focus

Ben Ryan has brought consistency to Fiji’s play and given them the confidence to go forward. He’s given them the structures without losing the flair, and I think that’s what we admire about him most. He is held in such high regard by his players who lifted him above their shoulders on receiving the trophy. The players understand what he has brought to them in terms of discipline, fitness, game management, nutrition and that little bit of discipline that they’d perhaps been lacking. To lead them to their first series win since 2006 and only their second in 16 years is a fantastic achievement.

England have delivered well as the representative team of Team GB, turning their season around after the narrow defeat to Fiji in the Hong Kong quarter-final. They went to Toyko and won and then produced strong performances in Glasgow and obviously at their own tournament in London.

It is good for the game that there are now six or seven teams all in with an equal chance of winning as we prepare to enter what is an incredible era for the sport. We’re in touching distance of Rio and this game never ceases to amaze.

Feedback: sportsdesk@fijisun.com.fj

 

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"I support it 200 percent, I am with FRU, the country and the people of Fiji. We want to bid to get one of the HSBC stops in Fiji."
Waisale Serevi
Sevens Legend

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