‘Prove Me Wrong’

Ryan said it was also a chance for the 12 men line-up featuring at the meet to change his mind about selection. “I’m actually really looking forward to it,” Ryan
30 Sep 2014 14:00
‘Prove Me Wrong’
Nemani Biu (right) with his wife Luisiana Vucatu during the 2020 Basic Recruits Course certificate presentation and passing out parade at Subrail Park in Labasa on July 22, 2020. Photo: Shratika Naidu

Ryan said it was also a chance for the 12 men line-up featuring at the meet to change his mind about selection.

“I’m actually really looking forward to it,” Ryan said.

“I feel as though there’s not much pressure on this weekend and it’s almost a dress rehearsal before Gold Coast. So I’m pretty excited about them playing with a bit of freedom and showing me defensively as well as all we’ve learned the past couple of weeks.

“It’s crucial really for them. They missed out on Gold Coast selection and hopefully will prove me wrong during the weekend and have really standout performances. I’m pretty convinced having seen how they’re going in training that they’ll play well.

“At least one or two players will really push hard for consideration for Dubai. Looking at the fitness test results today (yesterday), the Gold Coast team are probably about 10 per cent fitter than the Oceania team.

“That’s probably reminded them that on my priority list, fitness is high, and those boys that have missed out probably need to attend more of that.

“Hopefully we get to play the full-strength Samoa, Australia and New Zealand 7s sides in Noosa this weekend. If the boys can knock down those teams, then that’s good and would be great for them and for Fiji.

“It’s a good pool for us. Cook Islands will provide a decent test. It’s a chance to try some formations and combinations and get into the quarterfinals where we’ll run across one of the big boys in the group. It’s   physical it’s up to the boys to stand up.”

Ryan also weighed in on Fiji’s two biggest neighbouring rivals, New Zealand and Samoa.

“I know why Gordon (Tietjens) picked his 16 players. He’ll probably put some of his main boys out in the pools (games) to get them game time and then he’ll probably just use them sparsely for the rest of the tournament.

“For Samoa it’s probably a financial thing which is why they’re sending over one team.

“I watched Samoa last year in Oceania beat us very convincingly in the final and then play pretty poorly the week after. They looked tired. I was never going to pick the same team two weeks in a row this early in the season and it’s way too big a risk.

“What it gives us is a chance to have a crack at some of the teams that are playing two weeks in a row to try and fatigue them a bit and run them off their feet and send a message that we’ve got 12 boys that are going to play against them that are going to give them a hard game and see what we’ve got in the Gold Coast.”

Fiji heads Pool B with Cook Islands, Solomon Islands and Tahiti while New Zealand heads Pool A with American Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Niue.

Samoa leads Pool C with Australia, Tonga and New Caledonia.

The Oceania meet is scheduled for October 3-4 alongside the Noosa International Sevens on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.



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