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USA 7s Coach Lays Accusations Against Fiji Players Ahead Of Paris Series Decider

Coach Mike Friday accused the Fijians of illegally crawling on hands and feet through rucks in their semi-final, which USA lost 10-17 during the London 7s tournament last weekend.
29 May 2019 11:45
USA 7s Coach Lays Accusations Against Fiji Players Ahead Of Paris Series Decider
USA 7s Coach Mike Friday

 

USA has fired a broadside at the Fiji Airways national 7s reps in an apparent bid to destabilise their build-up for the Paris showdown.

Coach Mike Friday accused the Fijians of illegally crawling on hands and feet through rucks in their semi-final, which USA lost 10-17 during the London 7s tournament last weekend.

His remarks were highlighted by a Florida rugby website, Flo Rugby.

The Fijian reps and their coach, Gareth Baber, were on their way to Paris yesterday and could not be reached to comment.

Mr Friday’s remarks are sour grapes and designed to distract the Fijians from their focus to win in Paris.

He is hoping to find chinks in the Fijian armour by launching a psychological war.

Baber and his heroes should ignore Friday’s battle of the mind.

There is a possibility that they could meet again at the business end of the tournament.

Friday told Flo Rugby that he was somewhat annoyed at how the rucks were officiated during the London 7s.

Friday singled out teams like Fiji and Australia for “crawling on hands and feet through a ruck”.

The Fijians went on to wallop Australia 43-7 in the Cup final to retain the London 7s title.

They now top the Series table by 164 points, while USA – which led for most of the series until the London tournament – is second on 162.

Friday said: “To be going into Paris in control of our own destiny locked in a top-of-the table race with Fiji with only two points separating us is exciting stuff.

“There is lots to look forward to. We have one last dance in Paris and we have an opportunity to go and get the series, which will be our aim.

“And it’s worth pointing out that while the USA team is full-time, it’s not as if anyone is getting rich playing rugby.

“We have come so far in the last few years and it is credit to all the hard work and sacrifice of the boys.”

Friday highlighted that USA was a Tier 2 rugby nation, and did not have the resources that nations such as New Zealand, England or even Fiji had.

“We are so grateful for the generous support of the Golden Eagles; without this group of guardian angels, we would not be where we are today.”

Still, Friday said he expected better from his team, which finished third in London.

“It was a reasonable showing by us, but we didn’t really get our attacking game playing consistently as we would like in the weekend and that is the challenge for us this week.”

Edited by Nemani Delaibatiki

Feedbackleonec@fijisun.com.fj

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