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Fiji wins Canada 7s title

The Fiji 7s team celebrating in Canada. Photo: THE FIJI TIMES

VANCOUVER, Canada-March 12, 2018: 5pm (Nuku’alofa Times): Fiji returned to the podium at the Canada 7s today after defeating  Kenya 31-12 in the final of the HSBC World Sevens Series in Vancouver.

The Jerry Tuwai-captained side scored two tries through Sevuloni Mocenacagi and Josua Vakurinabili.

Alasio Naduva and Paula Dranisinukula scored a try each in the final.

Fiji players celebrate with the trophy after defeating Kenya to win the World Rugby Sevens Series final, in Vancouver, B.C. Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward ORG XMIT: VCRD165

Fiji players celebrate with the trophy after defeating Kenya to win the World Rugby Sevens Series final, in Vancouver, B.C. Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward 

It was Fiji’s second win in the series this season after winning the Hamilton 7s last month.

Fiji stands at second position with 101 points behind South Africa who are on 109 points.

The Fijians had defeated Kenya 24-21 in the last pool match of Sunday and came back strongly in the quarterfinals against Argentina, winning 43-7.

The Fiji Airways  team  proceeded to the semi-finals of the Vancouver 7s after defeating Argentina 43-7 at the BC Stadium this morning.

Amenoni Nasilasila, Sevuloni Mocenacagi, Kalione Nasoko, Alasio Naduva and Eroni Sau each scored a try while Mesulame Kunavula scored two. Argentina managed to score a try in the 9th minute of the second half.

Former Fiji 7s coach Benjamin Ryan congratulated the team for their efforts after the team’s easy win against Argentina.

“The Fiji boys were quite literally on fire. I haven’t seen them play that well for a couple of years. A really tough match they’re going to play against South Africa. Looks like their destiny is in their own hands this weekend. Best side on the field today,” Ben said.

The South Africa 7s team defeated Australia 24-19 in their quarterfinal match.

In the semifinals Fiji defeated South Africa 15-12.

Fiji was down 12-5 at the half time mark.

Kalione Nasoko scored the only try for the side in the first spell before Josua Vakurunabili and replacement Amenoni Nasilasila scored a try each in the second half.

Fiji 7s coach Gareth Baber says the players displayed an impressive performance but need to improve on few areas before the final.

“They worked hard for the last couple of days and we knew the game will going to be difficult. It was physical we made few errors in that game. We need to eliminate those errors, keep playing the game that we all love playing in Fiji and getting our tries,” Baber said.

Kenya beat USA 24-19 in the second semi-final.

South Africa finished third beating USA 29-7 and England was fifth after defeating Australia 31-14

Meanwhile, coach Baber has praised his players for their team efforts in the last day today.

Baber says it was the teamwork, which proved the difference of the day two of the competition.

“They all worked endlessly to try and make the game what we want. They know the vision of the game, they work hard to ensure that as Fijians, they play the best rugby they can.”

Fiji 7s captain Jerry Tuwai also thanked the players for a courageous performance.

“For this tournament, I just told them to give everything, don’t hold back because after this game we going home.”

Former Fiji 7s coach and winning Olympics coach Ben Ryan said the Fijian side can now win either the Commonwealth or World Cup 7s titles this year.

Ryan says Fiji knows what it’s like to play for something big and they will do whatever it takes to win.

“The competition is getting tougher and I suspect the trophies will be shared and Fiji will either take the World cup or the gold medal in the Commonwealth Games.”

Fiji becomes the only team to win two tournaments in the World Rugby Sevens Series this season.


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