Fiji 7s: Our Rookie Hopes For Paris

Our team needs to get the job done in Paris for, “Fiji ever Fiji” by winning the 2018-19 World Sevens Series title this weekend.
28 May 2019 12:38
Fiji 7s: Our Rookie Hopes For Paris
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s rep Meli Derenalagi in action against USA in the London 7s Cup semifinal on May 27, 2019. Photo: Ian Muir


Meli Derenalagi, Vilimoni  Botitu, Asaeli Tuivoka and Aminiasi Tuimaba will need to cap off their season with another sterling performance in Paris this weekend.

Likely contenders for the World Rugby 7s rookie of the year, the players’ contribution on the circuit has been enormous.

Since making their debut in the 2018-19 World Sevens Series, Fiji Airways Fijian 7s head coach Gareth Baber will pin his hopes on the rookies to help Fiji excel on the global stage again.

The four players were instrumental in the team winning the London Sevens yesterday and they need to power the team home again this weekend.

Our team needs to get the job done in Paris for, “Fiji ever Fiji” by winning the 2018-19 World Sevens Series title this weekend.

We may have won the battle in Twickenham but we need to do a double and win the war at Stade Jean Bouin Stadium.

HSBC Player of the Final, Derenalagi, who was also named in the London Dream Team with veteran Seremaia Tuwai, admitted they struggled on day one.

“We had lots of work from day one so we tried to improve on day two. Our main focus was to come and win. All the supporters from around the world uplift us and motivate us to come and give our best, ” he said.

With only two points separating the Paula Dranisinukula-captained side (164) to the United States (162), we can’t afford to let it slip again from our grasp.

Last year we went into the Paris event four points clear but we lost our Cup quarterfinal match 17-19 to England allowing South Africa to win the series edging Fiji 182-180.

As a coach, Baber knows the pain of getting so close yet so far after doing the hard yards throughout winning five out of 10 tournaments but still losing out in the end.

The team can’t go through the same experience again because it would be painful to bear.

And for this we must play our best game in the last tournament of the series.

In London we won all our pool games although it was a jittery performance before we found our mojo in the semifinal against USA and in the final against Australia.

The team needs to fire from the start and keep the consistency throughout.

We can’t rely on others to do the job for us to deny the USA but we must capture the 22 points on offer by winning the Cup final.

Our pool opponents England, Argentina and Ireland will make it tough for us but we can’t allow them or any other team to deny us again.

Fiji Fixtures:


10.50pm vs England


2.16am vs Argentina

5.42am vs Ireland.

Edited by Sheldon Channel


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