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Shutout Upsets Ben Ryan

Vodafone Fijian 7s coach Ben Ryan vowed they will make a comeback in the fourth leg of the World Sevens Series in Sydney this weekend. Fiji, who was formidable in
01 Feb 2016 11:00
Shutout Upsets Ben Ryan
A Fijian fan at the Westpac Stadium yesterday. Photo: Bruce Southwick/Zoom Fiji

Vodafone Fijian 7s coach Ben Ryan vowed they will make a comeback in the fourth leg of the World Sevens Series in Sydney this weekend.

Fiji, who was formidable in the pool stages in the Wellington 7s, were outclassed by South Africa losing 31-0 in the Cup semifinals.

Though they made a comeback to win third place by beating England 24-12, Ryan said it was a disappointing semifinal but positive that they will bounce back in Sydney.

“We’ve got more points than we had this time last year,”Ryan said.

‘But that game against South Africa was really disappointing on so many levels. But we will bounce back and we’ll win in Sydney.”

Ryan, however, acknowledged the support of the fans and congratulated South Africa and New Zealand on his twitter.

“Vinaka for all your support. Well played @Blitzboks and @nz7s See you all at @Sydney7s”

Fiji is now in second place on the World Sevens Series standings with 52 points after three legs as South Africa tops the standings with 54 points.

In third place is New Zealand (47), England (41), Argentina (41), USA (39), Australia (35), Kenya (30), France (28), Scotland (22), Samoa (21), Canada (13), Wales (11), Japan (7), Russia (5), Portugal (3) and Zimbabwe (1).

 

Fiji vs USA

Fiji had a slow start in the knockout stages of the Cup quarterfinals against USA with both sides committing basic mistakes.

It was USA who broke the deadlock five minutes into the game with a try from Carlin Isles sprinting past two Fijian defenders to the try line; a missed conversion by Madison Hughes, kept their lead at 5-0.

Despite Fiji giving away possessions, they settled down quickly four minutes later with a try from Isake Katonibau with a successful conversion from Vatemo Ravouvou, Fiji led 7-5 at halftime.

Seremaia Tuwai coming into the game in the sixth minute of the first-half paid off as he scored the second try for Fiji in the 10th minute of second-half with a another successful conversion from Ravouvou extended Fiji’s lead, 14-5.

 

Showing their classic offloads Semi Kunatani came through for Fiji scoring the third try three minutes later as Ravouvou put the extra two points with his boots, 21-5.

USA fought hard to hold on and penetrate the Fijian defence. William Holder managed a last minute try at full time but with the successful conversion from Nathaniel Augspurger was not enough to overcome Fiji as the game ended 21-12.

Fiji vs South Africa

It was an unexpected end to the Cup semifinals for Fiji as they were shut down by South Africa losing 31-0 at Westpac Stadium.

With mistakes plaguing the Fijian team from the start, South Africa capitalised on it by scoring two tries from Seabelo Senatla and Cheslin Kolbe who also converted one conversion to help the Blitzbok lead 12-0 at halftime.

Despite Coach Ben Ryan telling them to create space Fiji still stayed bunched up and made it easy for South Africa to pick them off one by one.

South Africa punished them scoring three more tries in the second half to Rosco Speckman, Kwagga Smith and Kolbe who scored his second try.

With the four extra points coming from Kolbe, South Africa booked their place in the finals beating Fiji 31-0.

Fiji vs England

Team captain Osea Kolinisau scored the first try in the second minute with Ravouvou‘s two points put them in the lead 7-0.

England replied five minutes later with a try from Alex Davis.

However, Fiji made sure to extend their lead before halftime as Savenaca Rawaca and with the extra two gave Fiji that extra lead 14-5.

Tom Mitchell scored England’s second try and made the conversion to close the gap 12-14.

Fiji, however, had the last say as Seremaia Tuwai and Pio Tuwai scored the last two tries.

Edited by Osea Bola

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