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Serevi A Commentators Delight

Serevi A Commentators Delight
Rugby commentator Keith Quinn Photo: Zimbio
April 08
11:00 2018

When Fiji meets New Zealand in rugby sevens, the earth moves,” exclaimed Keith Quinn at the end of Serevi’s famous try in 2007.

A new book tracking the life of sevens rugby legend is being sold at Tappoos stores throughout Fiji.

Today commentator Keith Quinn recalls how his breadth of visions and twinkling feet made Waisale Serevi so famous in Hong Kong

Back in 2011, Quinn rated Serevi the greatest rugby player on the planet.

He said he had never seen a sevens player with so many skills.

Quinn covered the Hong Kong Sevens since 1986 and was behind the microphone in 2007 when Serevi, at 38 years of age, scored an unbelievable try in the semifinal against New Zealand.

After starting the movement from deep defence, Serevi chose to finish the match winning try as the showman, twirling the ball on the fingertips of his right hand and pointing it to the heavens.

“When Fiji meets New Zealand in rugby sevens, the earth moves,” exclaimed keith Quinn at the end of the famous try.

Serevi’s first steps for that try were reminiscent of Phil Bennett’s early assault from his goal-line in the Barbarian’s stupendous victory over the All Blacks at Cardiff in 1973.

Time was up on the clock. Serevi side-stepped two opponents then dummied a third Kiwi. He then passed and finally supported for the wondrous run-in to the goal posts to seal the victory.

“It felt like I was running from Fiji to Australia. I was so tired,” Serevi recalled.

No-one could commentate the Fijians in Hong Kong like Quinn.

Even the great Bill McLaren was happy to hand over the reins to his New Zealand colleague when Fiji made the final.

The fast twitch commentary style with rapid fire Fijian pronunciation was not Bill’s forte even though he did a magnificent job in the 1990 final.

However, for New Zealand’s Wellington- based national treasure Quinn, Serevi and his cohorts were Quinn bread and butter. He would churn out the names like a sergeant major on drill parade. He understood and appreciated the island sense of adventure and he adored Serevi.

“I found to him to always be open and friendly,” observed Quinn, who has announced his retirement from Hong Kong commentary after 31 years. With the possible exception of David Campese and Eric Rush, he understood 7s before anyone else.

“It was his breadth of vision and those twinkling feet that made him so famous in Hong Kong. He was not the same force in a 15-a-side at World Cups but a lot of that had to do with the extra players, the cold weather and heavy grounds.

Serevi played in Hong Kong for 16 years. The Rugby World Cup triumphs in 1997 and 2005 stand out in his glittering trail of success. Thankfully his sevens legacy endures through his Atavus Rugby Coaching company in Seattle.

Serevi achieved legendary status while still a player. He was a commentator’s delight and today is revered as global ambassador for his chosen sport.

 

 

Feedback: oseab@fijisun.com.fj

 

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