Starved And Beaten By The USA
The Vodafone Fiji 7s team was starved of possession yesterday in the quarterfinals of the Singapore Sevens losing 19-24 to a dominant USA team to exit the main competition.
The USA totally dominated the first half showing World Rugby stats recording 55-1 passes in the Americans’ favour.
The only pass was collected by Waisea Nacuqu who sprinted 75 metres to score Fiji’s first try.
Winning possession in the kickoffs was sorely missing as players individually tried to catch the high slow ball from USA playmaker Folau Niua; leading to the USA forwards retaining their own kickoffs.
The Fijian team were defending resolutely and made a couple of staunch efforts to deny the USA, but Mike Friday’s men were keeping the ball so well that there was just wave after wave of American attacks.
“There’s a potentially huge moment in the match as Stephen Tomasin took his country’s lead out to 10 points with his 20th five-pointer of the season,” said the World Rugby blogsite.
Ben Pinkelman scored first in the second minute before Tomasin’s try taking them to 12-7 at the break.
Fiji scored two late tries from Josua Vici with two minutes to go and Isake Katonibau in the last minute in the second half to make the scores look respectable at 19-24 but the USA won the game with precision in possession and tactics.
USA winger Perry Baker was totally blanketed by Fiji’s defence but showed glimpses of his speed and pace.
Quarterfinals- Challenge Trophy; Hong Kong 15-26 Scotland, Argentina 24-26 France, Wales 19-12 Russia, Japan 14-26. Cup; Fiji 19-24 USA, Australia 19-17 South Africa, New Zealand 14-26 Canada, England 13-12 Kenya
Semifinals- 13th Place; Russia 24-21 Japan, Hong Kong 7-33 Argentina. Challenge Trophy; Wales 19-14 Samoa, Scotland 31-12 France.