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Fijiana 7s Keep Low Profile

It’s one step at a time for the Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s team as they prepare for their Sydney 7s pool opener against Canada at the Spotless Stadium, Australia tomorrow.
31 Jan 2019 10:43
Fijiana 7s Keep Low Profile
Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s coach Saiasi Fuli during training in Sydney, Australia on January 30, 2019. Photo: FRU Media

It’s one step at a time for the Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s team as they prepare for their Sydney 7s pool opener against Canada at the Spotless Stadium, Australia tomorrow.

The Saiasi Fuli-coached side played a warm-up game against Spain yesterday to tune themselves up.

Fuli, a former national 7s halfback is on his first as­signment as head coach and had indicated that they’re going to try for a top eight finish.

“Something after that will be a bonus and so it will be how we prepare well mentally,” he said.

The Fijiana 7s side have been boosted by the return of former captain Ana Maria Roqica, Rusila Nagasau, Lavenia Tinai and Luisa Tisolo.

“It’s when we wear the jersey we need to be proud and happy to represent our country,” Fuli added.

Fijiana 7s- Rusila Nagasau (c ), Asinate Savu, Mere­wai Cumu, Vasiti Solikoviti, Raijieli Daveua, Lave­nia Tinai, Ana Roqica, Tokasa Senibuli, Merewalesi Rokoumu, Luisa Tisolo, Ana Maria Naimasi, Akanisi Sokoiwasa.

IRELAND READY FOR OPENER

A 13-player Ireland women’s 7s squad are ready to play their opening pool game tomorrow in the third leg of the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series in Syd­ney, Australia.

The squad, captained by Lucy Mulhall could see Emily Lane and Béibhinn Parsons make their debut.

The squad trained at the Sydney Academy of Sport and Recreation in Narrabeen before they relocated to central Sydney ahead of the tournament kicking off at the Spotless Stadium in the Sydney Olympic Park.

Ireland finished in 8th place at the Dubai 7s in De­cember. They are drawn with Canada, Fiji and Russia in Pool B of the tournament, and will open against Russia. Ireland Rugby director of sevens Anthony Eddy said: “Sydney marks the half-way point on this year’s World Series and it’s another chance for the players to go out and put in strong performances.

“We have a few players unavailable to us due to inju­ry, but that in turn hands a great opportunity to other players in the programme to make their mark.”

BLACK FERNS THANKFUL FOR SYDNEY DRUBBING

It was Australia’s prime-time moment in front of a home audience, as they thrashed New Zealand 31-0 to win last year’s Sydney Sevens women’s title.

But the Black Ferns haven’t lost a game of women’s rugby sevens since, with coach Allan Bunting admit­ting on his return to Sydney this week that the 2018 humbling might’ve been exactly what was needed.

New Zealand won every other world series event that followed, but couldn’t catch the fast-starting Australia in the title race, while they went on to pip the hosts for gold in extra time at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

A season-ending achilles tear to star try scorer Por­tia Woodman hasn’t slowed them in 2019, with the Ki­wis a perfect two-from-two before this week’s Sydney Sevens at Spotless Stadium, starting on Friday.

“Last year, we suffered our biggest defeat ever here, and got a good smack on the bum and good learnings from that,” Bunting said.

“It helped us in the Commonwealth Games. We re­visit that [loss] often and it really helps us focus on what matters today.

“So we’re quite thankful for that now. What it did for us was really vital and we’re not sour about it.”

New Zealand will play England, France and Papua New Guinea in Friday’s pool games, while Australia’s opponents will be United States, China and Spain.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

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