But the team makes up in Sydney
The World Series Champions failed to impress as they moved a place down from second following their loss in semi-final in Wellington.
Fiji lost to South Africa 0-31 on January 31, 2016 after defeating United States of America 21-10 in the quarterfinal.
On the evidence of Day One, New Zealand’s size was destined to trouble the team. Likewise, very few teams have the pace of South Africa. But the entry of Fijians caused much excitement since they had combined strength of the two teams.
There is no other team that is as celebrated as the Fiji Team on the Sevens Circuit. The players romped away with Pool B, following their 45-7 win over Japan, subsequent 33-7 victory against Wales and then 31-10 mauling of Argentina.
Team Fiji was roared at every move by a large contingent of countrymen and women, while other re-affirmed its status as everyone’s second favourite.
Things turned sour on the second day.
Fiji lacked pace and flair for which they are renowned.
Playing against South Africa, they looked a shadow of the team that played the previous day. Two Fijian players received yellow cards which showed that the Team was under heavy pressure. Fiji also lacked speed of the mark, line breakers and offloads were not evident and their plays were easily intercepted.
The South Africans controlled possession and tackled as a group which made it worse for the Fijians. They had an umbrella defense. The boys from Fiji have depth and what it takes to win, but did not understand that playing South Africa was an intense game. It showed that the competition has grown stronger.
Former National Coach Waisale Serevi thanked the Vodafone Fiji 7s team on his Facebook page for its performance in Wellington and for representing Fiji and Fijian Rugby fans around the globe.
“We are all disappointed but imagine the Coach, players and their families who are more hurt than us; we lost one game, but it does not mean that Coach Ben Ryan and the boys are no good. The only way we learn is when we stumble and fall in life or lose a game of Rugby; the boys are hurting right now, but I know that they want to prove themselves this weekend.” the King of sevens said.
Fiji should play as a team, not as individuals. They have a good coach in Ryan. I am sure that they will fix their errors and move on. Fiji is pooled with Argentina, France and Samoa in this fourth leg of World Sevens Series.
Editor’s Note: Fiji beat South Africa 26-12 in Sydney on February 7, 2016 to gain the third place. New Zealand won the Cup final beating Australia 27-24.
1. Winger Josaia Raisuqe dashing to the tryline
2. Fijian supporters in their gear at the Wellington Sevens