Series in sight
THE Vodafone Fiji 7s team has one hand on the HSBC World Sevens Series title after a scintillating 26-21 win over South Africa in the semi-finals of the HSBC Singapore 7s yesterday.
Playing without star players — Pio Tuwai, Semi Kunatani, Isake Katonibau and Savenaca Rawaca — the national 7s team stunned the star-studded Springboks to secure a spot in the final
And the tactical move by coach Ben Ryan to field six playmakers in Vatemo Ravouvou, Jerry Tuwai, Amenoni Nasilasila, Emosi Mulevoro, Alivereti Veitokani and Kitione Taliga in the later stages of the games worked for the Fijians before nippy Nadroga playmaker Veitokani scored the winning try right on full time.
It was a similar tactic used by Ryan in their 19-14 quarter final win over Australia.
But it was the self belief within the players that inspired them to win
“Four times now in a fortnight we have encountered similar situation,” said Ryan.
‘We have no Pio Tuwai, no Isake Katonibau, no Savenaca Rawaca, no Semi Kunatani, no Viliame Mata, these players – you know five absolute world class stars and here our boys are digging out and scoring some tries that get you out of your seat and what Fiji is known for and that is what we are doing it here now.’
While New Zealand and South Ãfrica failing to reach the final, the national team is on the right path to successfully defending the World Sevens Series title with two tournaments remaining.