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This Is The Series That Could Set Fiji As The Undisputed World 7s Top Team

Ben Ryan and his triumphant Gold Coast Sevens rugby warriors returned yesterday to a raucous welcome at Nadi Airport. They deserved it. The Minister for Youth and Sports Laisenia Tuitubou
15 Oct 2014 08:29
This Is The Series That Could Set Fiji As The Undisputed World 7s Top Team
Vodafone Fiji 7s Jerry Tuwai (with ball), runs in for a try .

Ben Ryan and his triumphant Gold Coast Sevens rugby warriors returned yesterday to a raucous welcome at Nadi Airport. They deserved it.

The Minister for Youth and Sports Laisenia Tuitubou and Fiji Airways CEO Stephan Pichler were on hand with hundreds of jubilant fans and relatives to greet the champions.

Mr Tuitubou reminded the players that after their break they needed to focus on the next assignment which was Dubai.

In December, they head to Dubai to defend their title there. If they succeed, it will be their first back-back victory in the world series.

This should be motivation for them to go for a rare double. Last year they demolished New Zealand 44-0 in the semifinals and went on to beat South Africa 29-17 in the final.

But their near flawless 7s display in the semi-final is still being talked about in the 7s circuit. That was the first time New Zealand, the world’s most successful team in the World Series, was humiliated in a comprehensive performance by Fiji.

Those commentating on that day ran out of superlatives to describe the Fijians’ sublime play. The Fijians showed the level they could rise to when they used the right formula.

Last weekend at the Gold Coast in Queensland, they showed glimpses of that formula – a combination of tight defence and explosive and enterprising 7s rugby.

Their best display was when they disposed of England in a ruthless and dominant manner 48-7.

One year after his appointment as coach, the Ryan influence is beginning to be seen and felt.

Last year’s Dubai win was his second tournament. He is working on the platform that Fiji is not a one-game wonder.

That is still very much an elusive goal.

This new series could be the one where Fiji will stamp its mark as the undisputed 7s heavyweight champion of the world.

The Fijians have the potential to widen the gulf that opened at the Gold Coast, where they laid the foundation for a dream run in this new series.

All they need to do now is to build on it. Last weekend, they were a cut above the rest. No doubt the opposition teams will fight back in Dubai targeting Fiji as the team to beat.

As trend-setters, they have a major challenge to maintain their high standards.

This series is more important than previous ones because it acts as a qualifying medium for the Rio Olympics in 2016.

The top four countries will automatically qualify. The others will play other qualifying rounds.

Fiji is in a perfect position as its starts it’s build-up for Rio.

The responsibility lies squarely on the shoulders of the players.

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 




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