Rugby

Watch Luisa, Fijiana

Fijiana have had some big victories in the last couple of years against some of the major teams. I don’t think anybody in that women’s tournament would want to play Fiji in the quarterfinals: Ben Ryan
02 Jan 2021 13:05
Watch Luisa, Fijiana
Fijiana 7s rep Luisa Tisolo (left) scoring a try against the United States at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Deodoro Stadium on August 6, 2016. Photo: World Rugby

The Fijiana 7s team should be a much better team at the Tokyo Olympic Games, says Ben Ryan.

The Englishman, who coached the Fijian 7s team to winning the gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, said the Fijiana should be the team to watch.

An having already selected World Rugby 7s Player of the Decade Seremaia ‘Jerry’ Tuwai as one of the seven players at the Tokyo Olympics, Ryan has singled out Luisa Tisolo as the ‘Fijian Fulcrum’ in the campaign for the Saiasi Fuli-coached side.

Ryan believes Fijiana were not properly ready having being hastily introduced to the 7s programme preparing for the Rio Olympics.

But after beating big teams like England, United States and Canada in the World Rugby Women Sevens Series, they are capable of scoring upsets in Tokyo.

Ryan told World Rugby: “I think the Olympics came too early for Fijiana in Rio, it was a new programme and we’d only just got them into training alongside the men, and they lost their quarter-final against Great Britain.

“Four years later, some of those players are still around, including Luisa. She has got a lovely stop-start (break), where she holds a defender and then just goes and leaves them for dust.

“She’s a very silky footballer who has been brilliant this season. Fijiana have had some big victories in the last couple of years against some of the major teams, and I don’t think anybody in that women’s tournament would want to play Fiji in the quarterfinals because they are capable of causing a major upset.”

Apart from Tisolo, Ryan has also picked  fellow gold medal winners in Rio – Australian duo Ellia Green and Charlotte Caslick – and a pair of jet-heeled speedsters from New Zealand in Stacey Fluhler and Michaela Blyde.

North America also has two representatives through the inclusion of the USA’s ice hockey convert, Alev Kelter, and the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series all-time leading points scorer (1,356 points), Canada’s Ghislaine Landry.

 

Alev Kelter (USA)

Alev has done amazingly well after converting to rugby. She is tough, has got a great outside break and is a genuine world-class player.

Stacey Fluhler

Stacey is one of those players who is always scoring tries and smiling, she just looks like she is having so much fun. Michaela Blyde

Has been the standout winger on the world series for the last four to five years. She is really quick, has amazing acceleration from a standing start.

 

Ellia Green

A real powerhouse of a winger who can mix it up really well. She has searing pace – from her background as a junior international sprinter – and has also got a lovely step and power as well.

 

Charlotte Caslick

A very balanced footballer who I consider to be the best player at the last Olympics.

 

Ghislaine Landry

Like her male compatriot Nathan Hirayama, she has been on top of her game for a very long time.

Feedback:  oseab@fijisun.com.fj

 

 


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