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Battle For No.1

  The Vodafone Fijian 7s and the Blitzboks teams have a bigger fish to fry in the second round of the World Sevens Series in Cape Town this weekend. The
06 Dec 2016 13:47
Battle For No.1
From left: Nemani Nagusa and Waisea Nacuqu prepare to depart for Johannesburg, South Africa yesterday. Photo: Waisea Nacuqu / Twitter

 

The Vodafone Fijian 7s and the Blitzboks teams have a bigger fish to fry in the second round of the World Sevens Series in Cape Town this weekend.

The Dubai 7s finalists lead the charge with the Blitzboks in pole position on 22 points and primed to defend their title to extend their lead.

And the Fijians intends to nip it in the bud, break South African hearts and score their first win in the Rainbow Nation after 11 years.

The Blitzboks clinically executed their plan to near perfection and know how to beat the Fijians with their rush defence tactic and ‘on your face’ approach.

Fiji’s interim coach Naca Cawanibuka was gracious after the 26-14 defeat and said they will need to come back stronger this weekend.

“We had high hopes about actually winning Dubai, but congratulations to a very good South Africa team,” he told Gulf News.

“Our boys worked hard, but there were a few moments where we did not stick to our guns.

“South Africa capitalised and hats off to them. Hopefully, we will come back stronger this weekend.”

Blitzboks captain, Philip Snyman, feels there is room for improvement and that even a better effort will be needed if they want to defend the Cape Town Sevens title.

“We are far from the best we can be. We did well on the weekend and played a very good final against Fiji, but there are a number of areas we can improve on this week going into Cape Town,” he said.

Prior to the final last weekend, Synman said; “It’s going to take everything to beat Fiji. I think we need to leave everything out on the field. there will be nothing after that.

“Fiji is one of the best, if not the best side on the circuit. So we need to be at our best. If we can shut them down and close them down on defence, and stop them from getting those offloads away, then we will be in with a good chance.”

Snyman hopes to repeat the feat this weekend if they meet up again with the world and Olympic champions.

Coach Neil Powell says the Dubai triumph over Fiji will help “create the belief that we can beat them on any day”, and added that avoiding injuries will be vital in trying to defend their Cape Town Sevens title.

“Credit to the guys for sticking to the game plan – they implemented exactly what we asked of them – and the result came by itself,” he said.

“They can only really produce offloads and be dangerous if they get momentum. We tried to be in their faces and take their space away, and the guys really did that well and almost kept them playing backwards all the time.

“We had quite a bit of success against Fiji last season as well, beating them three times and losing twice. It’s key for us to keep putting one over Fiji and create the belief that we can beat them on any day and at any time.”

Cape Town Sevens:

Pool A: South Africa, Australia, USA, Russia

Pool B: Fiji, France, Kenya, Japan

Pool C: England, New Zealand, Argentina, Canada

Pool D: Wales, Scotland, Samoa, Uganda

Dubai Dream Team

Ruaridh McConnochie (England), Werner Kok (South Africa), Setareki Bituniyata (Fiji), Jerry Tuwai (Fiji), Ethan Davies (Wales), Seabelo Senatla (South Africa), Osea Kolinisau (Fiji).

Feedback:  ranobab@fijisun.com.fj

 

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