SPORTS

Time To Deliver: Derenalagi

As last year’s winners and series title holders Fiji have so far failed to secure a spot on the podium this season.
23 Jan 2020 13:59
Time To Deliver: Derenalagi
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s co captain Meli Derenalagi (right) talks to his team-mates after their training run at the Fraser Tech Rugby Club in Hamilton, New Zealand on January 22, 2020. Photo: Bruce Southwick/ Zoom Fiji

Fiji Airways Fijian 7s co-captain Meli Derenalagi said they need to go out and deliver the goods at this weekend’s New Zealand Sevens at the FMG Stadium Waikato in Hamilton.

As last year’s winners and series title holders Fiji have so far failed to secure a spot on the podium this season.

Derenalagi said the team have learned a lot from Dubai and Cape Town.

“We have learned a lot about our weaknesses but we will try to improve this upcoming weekend,” he said.

“The preparations have gone well for this weekend but we know we really need to go out and deliver now.

“The supporters and fans we have in Hamilton make us feel like we are playing back at home and we are looking forward to this weekend.”

The Fijians are in Pool D and they have to beat Argentina, Australia and Samoa if they are to make it to the Cup semi-finals.

Under the new format, World Rugby has scrapped off the Cup quarterfinals.

CAPTAINS MEET

Derenalagi and Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s captain Raijeli Davenaua were among the captains of the 28 participating men’s and women’s teams that met at the iconic Hamilton Gardens to launch this historic event.

After back-to-back wins in Dubai and Cape Town, the Black Ferns Sevens will be looking to go one further and secure their first world series victory on home soil while their male counterparts will be aiming to replicate their recent victory in South Africa this weekend.

Captain, Sarah Hirini who makes her return from injury after missing out in Dubai and Cape Town is excited at the prospect of playing to a home crowd this weekend.

“A couple of our girls actually live here in Hamilton so they’re going to have all their family here but we’ve talked a lot about being able to have that home advantage.

“Travel for us is massive so just having an hour and a half journey to get here has put us in good stead going into this weekend.

The hosts will face iChina in their opening Pool A game on day one before going on to play Fiji and then England on day two.

The All Blacks Sevens who are favourites to win are looking forward to playing to their home fans.

“We get to play all around the world, but you only get one home tournament and we’re lucky enough to get our own,” said captain Tim Mikkelson.

“We can take a lot of confidence from the last two tournaments.

“We’ve been training really hard the last couple of weeks.”

Edited Osea Bola

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