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Two Bad Moments Cost Us Sydney

We fought our way back in the quarterfinal as we didn’t want to let our faithful fans down - Kalione Nasoko
04 Feb 2019 12:17
Two Bad Moments Cost Us Sydney
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s rep Seremaia Tuwai congratulates New Zealand’s Trael Joass after the Cup semi-final at the Sydney 7s on February 3, 2019. Photo: World Rugby

 

Two moments of frustration saw the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team exit the Sydney 7s in the Cup semifinal against New Zealand at Spotless Stadium yesterday.

In the 36-14 NZ win, three players were shown cards – with Fiji down to five men on the field at one point.

The Kiwis hit the overdrive early scoring two quick tries before Seremaia Tuwai reduced the deficit for Fiji, 14-7.

But the Gareth Baber –coached side found themselves a man down just before halftime when Sevuloni Mocenacagi was shown a red card for a dangerous tackle on Scott Gregory.

A try from Kurt Baker just before halftime gave the All Blacks a 19-7 lead at the break, which they soon extended when play got underway in the second half.

Fiji lost Meli Derenalagi after the restart for a late tackle, and at that point the game was all but over.

Baker was also shown a yellow card late in the match after tripping a player chasing a kick, and finished the match in the sin-bin.

However, the damage had been done and the Kiwis knocked off the competition leaders which definitely shocked the Fijians, whose supporters dominated the crowd at Spotless Stadium.

Champions of Cape Town and Hamilton, the Kalione Nasoko-captained team emptied the tank in the energy-sapping quarterfinal against Australia to win 22-17.

It was evident that the Fijians were finding it difficult to play with controlled aggression.

Despite being trained to maintain that element of hardness and being cool under pressure, Mesulame Kunavula cracked and openly showed his frustration by throwing the ball away.

“Some players are carrying niggling injuries and we need to recover well,”Nasoko said.

“We fought our way back in the quarterfinal as we didn’t want to let our faithful fans down.”

It has been a tough two weeks for the team and they have battled gallantly to be in the top four spots after finishing 5th in the first tournament in Dubai.

We have yet to win Sydney but it is now gone and dusted.

But like champions we must rise from this loss and treat it as learning experience – the beginning of a new journey.

Our team’s next mission is the Las Vegas-Vancouver cluster of the World Sevens Series next month.

We need to do it right again as we have done many times before. -Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback:  anasilinir@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

 

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