SPORTS

Fijiana 7s Improve From 11th To 9th

The Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s team fought gallantly to beat England 15-12 in the Chal­lenge Trophy final of the Sydney 7s last night. Trailing 12-10, the Rusila Nagasau captained- side
03 Feb 2019 10:30
Fijiana 7s Improve From 11th To 9th
Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s team with the Challenge Trophy. Back (left-right) Merewai Cumu, Merewalesi Rokouono, Asinate Savu, Ana Maria Naimasi, Vasiti Solikoviti. Front (left-right) Lusia Tisolo, Akanis Sokoiwasa, Tokasa Seniyasi, Rusila Nagasau, Anamaria Roqica, Lavenia Tinai during the Sydney 7s on February 2, 2019. Photo: Bruce Southwich/ZoomFiji

The Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s team fought gallantly to beat England 15-12 in the Chal­lenge Trophy final of the Sydney 7s last night.

Trailing 12-10, the Rusila Nagasau captained- side never gave up as they threw the ball wide to prop Asinate Savu to score the winning try.

“I’m so proud of them as it took us nearly two months to get this team together,” Lavenia Tinai said.

“I thank them for all their effort in this last game. We’ve had a good mixture of young and older play­ers. To win the trophy is big for us.”

However, England scored the first try in the 4th minute to winger Deborah Fleming for a 5-0 lead.

The Fijiana side fought back de­spite being a player down when Merewai Cumu got a yellow card.

Their continuous pressure saw substitute Tokasa Seniyasi score right on halftime as they were lev­elled 5-5.

After a strong pep talk by coach Saiasi Fuli, the Fijiana side went on the overdrive with burly Tinai crashing over on the corner for a try as they led 10-5.

England never gave up with Alex Matthews running in their second try which was converted for a 12-10 lead before Savu struck with the winning try.

The Fijiana finished off at 9th compared to 11th during the last leg in Dubai.

Fuli had indicated earlier that they were aiming for a top eight fin­ish as they slowly build-up for the remaining tournaments.

The former national 7s halfback recalled former captain Ana Maria Roqica, Rusila Nagasau and Tinai to boost their campaign,

The players were part of the Fiji­ana XVs side which won the Oce­ania Women’s Championship.

In the Challenge Trophy semi-finals, with tries to Cumu and Merewalesi Rokouono saw they beat China 12-0 while Papua New Guinea went down to England 54-0.

Meanwhile, in the 11th Place play­off China had too much firepower with a 31-0 win over PNG.

The competition conitnues today.

OTHER RESULTS

Challenge Trophy semi-finals: Eng­land 54-0 PNG, Fiji 12-0 China,

Cup quarters: New Zealand 17-7 Canada, Russia 5-7 USA, Ireland 22-7 Spain, Australia 21-17 France

– Edited by Osea Bola

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