SPORTS

WHY WE LOST?

Indiscipline was the downfall of the Vodafone Fijian 7s team when they lost 19-12 to South Africa in the USA 7s Cup final in Las Vegas yesterday. With 10 seconds
07 Mar 2017 12:12
WHY WE LOST?
Vodafone Fijian 7s prop Mesulame Kunavula takes on the South African defence while captain, Osea Kolinisau comes in to support during the Cup final of the USA 7s at the Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas yesterday. Photo: Ian Muir

Indiscipline was the downfall of the Vodafone Fijian 7s team when they lost 19-12 to South Africa in the USA 7s Cup final in Las Vegas yesterday.

With 10 seconds remaining in the final, forward Sevuloni Mocenacagi dangerously tackled South African prop Werner Kok while he was still in the air.

This denied the Fijians the chance to go for their third try with the hope of equalising and forcing the final into extra time. Mocenacagi copped a red card and is likely to miss the Vancouver 7s tournament this weekend.

Earlier in the final, leading 5-0, the Fijians had to play with six men after Vatemo Ravouvou was yellow carded for dangerous play and allowed Cecil Aferika to put South Africa ahead 7-5.

Speaking to SUNsports, former Fijian 7s team manager Epeli Lagiloa said the players took wrong options and buckled under pressure.

“We must live up to a true colour of an Olympian,” he said.

”Fiji crumbled under pressure resulting in the yellow card to Vatemo for a high tackle and later a red card to Sevuloni for tackling a player in the air.

“We know there were new players in the side but the rest like Sevuloni and Vatemo have been there for three years or so.”

Lagiloa, who is a retired sport science university lecturer, said discipline is an integral part of a winning team.

“We gave away the game. I was confident that we were going to win but when Vatemo was sin-binned I knew we had thrown the game away.

“It’s the same old thing that has crept up again. For me as coach I cannot breathe that. I won’t be able to swallow the fact that we are losing to the same team for the third time in a series.”

Lagiloa has called on coach Gareth Baber to be more analytical of the past four tournaments and to also focus on mental preparation.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

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