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7s Gladiators Stamp Their Mark On World Series

7s Gladiators Stamp Their Mark On World Series
May 01
11:20 2018

Excellence is not a singular act but a habit. You are what you do repeatedly” – Shaquille O’Neal

It is becoming a habit, but a great one that is now synonymous with the Fiji Airways Fijian Sevens Rugby side.

Sports writers covering the HSBC Singapore Sevens last weekend must have scoured the dictionary look­ing for the perfect superlative to describe our nation­al sevens team.

Led by the mesmerising Jerry Tuwai, the side showed it had repeatedly been consistent this season.

To overcome, and snatch the win when all seemed lost has set this side above the mass of humanity, as far as sevens rugby is concerned.

Fiji entered day two of the Singapore Sevens having had virtually easy pool games.

A visibly exhausted Fiji side, having reached the Commonwealth Games final after a victorious but tedious campaign in Hong Kong a week earlier, lost to New Zealand 14-0 and now faced them in the Singa­pore quarterfinal.

The Kiwis led 19-17 with time almost up and were devastated when Amenoni Nasilasila scored the win­ner for Fiji.

In the semifinal, Fiji knew they had to beat South Africa if they were to have a chance of winning this series.

The Blitzbokers took an early 10-0 lead but the Fiji­ans mesmerising play and never say die attitude in the second spell saw them send the South Africans out of the main competition, something which is be­coming a habit between the two sides.

In the final, Australia was left heartbroken and shocked as the Fijians, scored a try with time expired to snatch a 28-22 victory in a dramatic and high qual­ity final.

Alosio Naduva scooted away for the long range match winner as Fiji produced yet another of their miraculous, flair filled escapes.

Just seconds earlier it looked like Lachlan Miller had secured victory for Australia when he dotted down in delight but New Zealand referee James Dole­man ruled that Lachlan Anderson had knocked the ball on while making a tackle.

That gave Fiji life — and with it the title as an ex­hausted, injury hit Australia was unable to hold on one final time in defence.

Such is the calibre of our national sevens side.

They deserve much more credit than what they are getting as the task of playing in such a high stakes competition brings out not only your physical pre­paredness but your ability to keep your mind focused at each tournament.

This comes with the pressure on the field and off the field, mainly from the mad sevens hungry fans who sometimes, demand too much from the team.

We must remember they can only do so much, but they always go beyond their abilities to put a smile on everyone’s face at home and the thousands of Fijian fans around the world.

Vinaka Vakalevu Gareth Baber, your technical team, Jerry Tuwai and our magnificent Fiji Airways National Sevens side.

CHARLES CHAMBERS

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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