SPORTS

Our Night

The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team came from behind to beat South Africa 24-17 in the Hamilton 7s Cup final at FMG Stadium, Waikato last night. South Africa led 17-5
05 Feb 2018 11:05
Our Night
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s rep Alosio Naduva on his way to the tryline in Cup final against South Africa on February 4, 2018. Photo: Bruce Southwick/Zoomfiji

The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team came from behind to beat South Africa 24-17 in the Hamilton 7s Cup final at FMG Stadium, Waikato last night.

South Africa led 17-5 at half time but the brave Fijians showed the Fijian flair in the second half  to win the gold medal.

Head Coach Gareth Baber was impressed with the team’s defensive structure which disrupted the South Africans game plan in the second half.

“All of our games over the last two days have been like that. We were down at half-time but with these Fijian boys, you are always close to getting a score somewhere as long as we can make some of those passes stick.

“I was proud of the way we defended and went about our business and we deserved that at the end,” Baber said.

The Fijians had a bad start in the opening minute when Josua Vakurunabili was yellow carded and South Africa immediately capitalised through Kwagga Smith who opened the scores for the men in green and was unsuccessful with the conversion.

Fiji hit back and Paula Dranisinukula broke through the South African defence from their own 22m line and ran through the half way mark before handing over the ball to Alosio Naduva who finished the attack despite South Africa’s efforts to stop it. The conversion was unsuccessful.

South Africa produced an incredible move that led to captain Kyle Brown to score their second try. This was followed by a try from Branco Du Preez for them to lead 17-5 at half time.

Coach Baber reminded the players at the break of their kick-off and defence roles. The Fijians lifted the intensity in the second half and Naduva scored his double.

The conversion was successful from Amenoni Nasilasila.

Naduva scored his third try after some brilliant counter rucking by the Fijians.

Backed by a big crowd of Fijian supporters, Eroni Sau’s late try sealed Fiji’s memorable win as the first victors of the inaugural Hamilton 7s.

Fijian captain Seremaia Tuwai said after the match it was a team effort.

“We had a young team and I’m really happy it was a team effort,” Tuwai said.

“I told the boys this was the last game so just play as a team and give everything.”

 

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  anasilinir@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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