SPORTS

Our 7s Stars Visit Communities

The Canadians failed to advance to the Cup quarterfinals on points’ difference. Canada made the Cup quarter-finals in 2017, losing 36-7 to South Africa and eventually tied for seventh
09 Mar 2019 14:36
Our 7s Stars Visit Communities

The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team flew into Vancouver with high spirits as they pre­pare to defend the Canada 7s title at the BC Place, this weekend.

The Kalione Nasoko-captained side on Tuesday as part of their community visit spent time with the people of Squamish, a town north of Vancouver, in British Co­lumbia, Canada. It’s at the north­ern tip of the island-dotted Howe Sound, and surrounded by moun­tains like the Stawamus Chief, a huge granite monolith.

Later the team went to Tsleil Wau­tuth Nation, formerly known as the Burrard Indian Band or Burrard Band, is a First Nations band gov­ernment in the Canadian province of British Columbia.

Without playmaker Waisea Nacuqu, the Fijians are going to bank on Terio Tamani and 20-year-old Vilimoni Botitu.

The other option is switching winger Alosio Naduva to halfback while veteran Jerry Tuwai mans the playmaker’s berth.

Also, with winger Aminiasi Tu­imaba under the suspension could see robust speedster Asaeli Tuivo­ka making his debut in the Series.

Other option could be on utility player Batinisavu Uluiyata com­ing in while veteran forward Paula Dranisinukula has recovered from a niggling leg injury.

CANADA’S RECORD

The top four teams at the end of the season secure automatic quali­fication for the 2020 Tokyo Olym­pics. New Zealand won the inaugu­ral Canada 7s in 2016, followed by England in 2017 and Fiji in 2018.

There was heartache in 2016 when the Canadians finished ninth. Can­ada won five of six games but only hoisted the consolation Bowl tro­phy instead of the celebrated Cup.

Its only blemish was a loss to Wales on a try scored with no time remaining.

The Canadians failed to advance to the Cup quarterfinals on points’ difference. Canada made the Cup quarter-finals in 2017, losing 36-7 to South Africa and eventually tied for seventh.

The Canadians finished 14th last year in Vancouver, losing 21-15 to Samoa in the 13th-place play­off. Canada led 10-0 before Samoa reeled off 21 unanswered points. Canada managed a consolation try in extra time.

Canada coach Damian McGrath used to coach Samoa.

A two-month labour dispute ahead of this season did little for Canada’s preparation.

More recently, inclement weather made Langford, B.C. a less than hospitable training base. Canada has also been hit by injuries.

The popular two-day Canadian event has drawn 213,630 spectators in its three years on the circuit.

Organisers say they are approach­ing 70,000 tickets sold, with the two-day capacity of more than 80,000. Canada’s record in Vancouver is 9-7-1.

Edited by Grace Narayan

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj

 



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