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Rio Olympics, SPORTS

Ryan: It Was Our Day

Ryan: It Was Our Day
Vodafone Sevens Coach Ben Ryan. Photo: RONALD KUMAR.
August 13
14:28 2016


I feel so very lucky to be in-charge of such an unbelievable group of athletes backed by a country so passionate about sevens rugby.

These were the words of Team Fiji men’s rugby sevens head coach, Ben Ryan after winning the country’s first ever Olympic Games gold medal.

They thrashed Great Britain 43-7 in the medal final at the Deodoro Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil yesterday.

“I certainly wouldn’t have the success if it wasn’t for Osea and the rest of the guys,” he said.

“We had set goals to retain the World Series and win the gold medal in the Olympics. Today was our day and we are thankful for it.”

Ryan said he is grateful to the players and was impressed with captain Osea Kolinisau.

“The last two years have been amazing, I’m always grateful Fiji gave me this opportunity to fire back again. Guys like Oscar is just a joy to coach, I will be lucky to get the opportunity to coach such great guys in the future.”

When asked about his future, Ryan declined to comment on it as his contract with the Fiji Rugby Union expires soon after the Rio Olympic Games.


When asked on how they got fired up against Great Britain, Ryan says, it was back to strategic planning after the semi-final.

“We had a 3-4 frame work on how we are going to play Great Britain. We looked at some kick-off strategies that we are going to do and defence and attack.

“We have to take them on.  We want to show people the Fijian way and we were great to deliver that in a very spectacular fashion. These boys have come from a very humble background.”


When approached Great Britain coach Simon Armor said the Fijians were unstoppable when they have possession.

“I think it was wonderful Fiji got the gold medal, such a special team and first time to win a medal in the Olympics. It’s just right that the team that plays good rugby gets that gold medal, when the Fijian guys are on form they are untouchable. They saved their best for the very last so it was a brilliant breath taking rugby.”

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua



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