HSBC Sevens Series | SPORTS

Gollings: Why We Lost

This was the gist of head coach Ben Gollings interview after they were out-smarted, out-muscled and out-played by the Blitzboks in their humiliating 31-7 defeat at the Coventry Stadium.
02 Aug 2022 15:14
Gollings: Why We Lost
Team Fiji men’s rugby 7s captain Waisea Nacuqu in full flight with Sireli Maqala behind him in the 75-metre dash to score the winning try (during sudden death) against New Zealand in the Commonwealth Games semifinal at Coventry Stadium in Birmingham, England, on August 1, 2022. Fiji won 19-14 to make the final where they received the silver medal. Photo: Ian Muir

Failure to get things right was the reason behind the Team Fiji men’s rugby sevens team’s failure to win the gold med­al at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, yesterday.

This was the gist of head coach Ben Gollings interview after they were out-smarted, out-muscled and out-played by the Blitzboks in their humiliating 31-7 defeat at the Coventry Stadium.

A disappointed Gollings said the loss was frustrating.

“This was because we were fo­cused on winning the tournament and that gold medal,” he said.

“The team certainly set them­selves up for that but we came up against a well-drilled and confi­dent South African team.

“They (Blitzboks) did a very good job of not allowing us to play and then took their opportunities.”

Gollings said it was sad that they could not get their game and rhythm right.

“We could not get those breaks that we were usually getting. South Africa frustrated us.

“But I’m proud of the way the way in which the players applied themselves and went about in this tournament.

“It’s been a tough three days but they have done well in the compe­tition.”

He said although it was unfortu­nate that they could not win gold but picking up a silver medal was also great.

The Fijians, earlier on, escaped with a 19-14 win over New Zealand in the semi-final.

The Waisea Nacuqu captained-side were down 14-0 towards the end of the first half before winger turned halfback Filipe Sauturaga scored the first try from an inter­cept to narrow the deficit 14-7 at halftime.

In the second half Sauturaga broke through the New Zealand defence and managed to flick a pass to Sevuloni Mocenacagi to score their second try with Nacuqu levelling the scores 14-14 from the conversion.

It was during sudden death play when Sireli Maqala created space for Nacuqu to run 75m to score the winning try.

“We played a massive game in the semi-finals, went into extra time, it took a little bit out of us but I wouldn’t take that as an excuse,” Gollings side.

“I think we had enough time to recover, we were ready for the match.

“I think emotionally it’s when the game started to get away from us I think it’s always tough running out of time to catch a score.

“I believe at half-time we wanted turned things around but some poor decisions let us down.

“At half-time we were focused on turning things around, we came from behind in the semi-finals we could have done it again.

“Credit to South Africa they were quick on the ball and stopped us from playing.”

New Zealand won the bronze medal after beating Australia 26-12.

Feedback: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj



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