SPORTS

We’re Our Biggest Danger

Vodafone Fiji 7s head coach Ben Ryan believes the national side are their own biggest threat to keeping the lead in the HSBC Sevens World Series. Speaking to Radio Australia,
12 Dec 2014 15:06
We’re Our Biggest Danger

Vodafone Fiji 7s head coach Ben Ryan believes the national side are their own biggest threat to keeping the lead in the HSBC Sevens World Series.

Speaking to Radio Australia, Ryan made the comment along with his thoughts on how Fiji can win at this weekend’s South Africa 7s in Port Elizabeth.

“I think the biggest danger to our success is ourselves. I’m not saying it out arrogantly.

“I honestly think that it’s all well and good saying we’re the best side there over the weekend. We came third. We lost one game in extra time.

“We’ve lost one game in the last 12 in the series and one game in 18 games that we played this year in Oceania as well so we’ve still got a lot of form going into Port Elizabeth and I think if we play our best game and do that for a full 14 minutes, then we’ll win the tournament and it’s as simple as that.”

Ryan stressed the importance the Port Elizabeth leg held as a turning moment for the top spots on the series points table.

“It’s going to become an incredibly important tournament because South Africa are just two points behind and they go to a tournament they won last year.

“They’ve got due support and they just won last weekend, so huge favourites.

“If we win all our matches in Port Elizabeth, we’re destined to clash at the semi-final stage. If we can beat them at that point, then we can extend our lead to a very healthy one going into the New Year and 2015 and the Wellington tournament.

“That will be huge for the programme if we can stay on top of the World Series.

“So it’s all about staying alive in the world tournament to the final stages so that we can keep our lead and also give ourselves a significant buffer between ourselves and second but also between ourselves and the fifth place side because that is our first priority game as automatic qualification into the Olympics.”

Ryan said much had been learned from the 2014 Dubai 7s and believed fitness would be the determining factor this weekend.

“We’re definitely learning some lessons all the time. Only two players that won Dubai last year were present in this team so it’s a huge transition and for us to still be number one in the world at the moment it’s a great testament to the players who are wearing the shirts at the moment.

“The fit teams, the teams that have got some confidence are the ones that are going to come through in Port Elizabeth and I think you’ll start to see a gap emerge now. Certainly in the top two but probably even more likely the top four get somewhere of a break between now and the fifth place side.”

Top four captains

Meanwhile, New Zealand 7s captain DJ Forbes said, “If we get the process right, Olympic qualification will take care of itself.

“All we are focussed on here is our pool games and the South African tournament.”

Australia 7s skipper Ed Jenkins said, “We had a pretty shaky start to our own tournament on the Gold Coast but we’ve trained really hard for the last eight weeks and set a goal to try and win the next two tournaments.”

South Africa 7s captain Kyle Brown said, “Port Elizabeth was a fantastic tournament for us last year and I know the crowds will be raring to go after this. Very few teams have the privilege of home advantage on the circuit and we have got to make that count.”

Feedback: eroni.tuinaceva@fijisun.com.fj

 

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