Rugby

Experienced Duo Least Surprised With Their Last Minute Recall

Coming out of the quarantine facility in Nadi yesterday, Roqica, 33, who is the longest-serving player in the team, said she did not give up although she was being named in the reserves.
26 Aug 2021 19:35
Experienced Duo Least Surprised With Their Last Minute Recall
Fijian reps Lavenia Tinai (left) and Ana Maria Roqica at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa in Denarau on August 25, 2021. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

They were first named as travelling reserves for the Team Fiji women’s rugby 7s squad for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

During their final training session in Oita, Japan, disaster struck when first choice halfback Tokasa Seniyasi and Reijeli Uluinayau suffered injuries.

This led to head coach Saiasi Fuli making the decision to bring in his travelling reserves and veterans, Ana Maria Roqica and Lavenia Tinai.

Their vast experience was fully utilised by Fuli bringing them in the second half to help keep their defence in shape and control the pace of the game.

The rest is now history as the Fijians clinched the bronze medal at the Olympics.

Coming out of the quarantine facility in Nadi yesterday, Roqica, 33, who is the longest-serving player in the team, said she did not give up although she was being named in the reserves.

“I gave my best during training since I was part of the team,” she told SUNsports.

“I had trusted the system that was set by the coach.”

Tinai, 30, said they were least surprised when they got the recall.

“I precisely knew how the mill operates,” she said.

“I never lose hope when I was there.  I trusted the coaches and their vision for the team.

This is the living testament of how we played and what we had achieved.”

Feedbackwaisean@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

 



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