Pic: World Rugby
The RugbyPass website reported, that the Fijian long-serving captain Seremaia “Jerry” Tuwai, who scored his 100th try to win the Cape Town Sevens earlier this month, is set to sign a contract with a US-based team ahead of the second professional season of the newly formed MLR, which kicks off in January.
Pic: Ian Muir
The following article originally appeared on www.benryan.co.uk written by Ben Ryan.
Ben Ryan is one of the most respected and successful rugby sevens coaches in the world. After six years in charge of the England Sevens team, he led Fiji to back-to-back World Sevens Series titles and a Gold medal win at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Ben is an ambassador for HSBC and Fiji Airways, and currently a consultant for many world class organisations, both within and outside the sporting world.
Why do so many coaches and ex-players, and even ones on the injured list, sometimes wish the team they coached or played for doesn’t do as well now as when they were involved? Worried that the team gets better once you’ve left, or the coach or player that’s replaced you is more influential and successful? This attitude transcends all sports and you see the same in business.
It’s pretty common, and I’m not ashamed to say it’s crossed my mind before. Why? A lack of self-confidence perhaps? A feeling that somehow your self-worth is directly connected to it all? I’ve lost count of the coaches and players that have tried to hide this feeling, but it is all too obvious in their actions and deeds.
When it comes down to it, ego is the core of the problem. You might think you aren’t driven by it, but ego rears its self-serving head and reminds you it still can control and affect you. I find all this fascinating as I’ve felt it first hand.
You publicly say you want the team you used to coach, or played for, to do well, and you honestly believe this. Suddenly you’re watching them and it’s down to the last few minutes or seconds. Those thoughts in your head bubble up and, for some reason, you hope they lose, that they don’t replicate the successes you felt you had. It makes no logical sense but makes all the sense when ego is involved.
I’m in a situation now that I want Fiji to do well. I want them to win. I truly do. Anyone that saw me at the Dubai 7s screaming like a mad man at the team, and castigating the referee for any decision that didn’t go the team’s way, would have seen that. It wasn’t an act.
There are, however, the small noises in your head and they say stuff like:
“What if they win more things than under me?”
“Everyone says Fiji have apparently the best players so the next coach after Ben will do just as well. Coaching Fiji is easy.”
When you look at it from afar, it’s all ridiculous to feel like this, and I don’t feel like this at all now. It’s taken me time to be aware of my feelings, work out where they are coming from, and then finally deal with them.
I left England 7s under difficult circumstances. Imagine a scenario, one I am sure happens far too often, where you’re given an ultimatum by someone that you either resign and get a pay off, or you must reapply for your job. This message to you is quietly slipped under the proverbial rug as you sign a non disclosure agreement. The press release comes out saying you have resigned.
I was sore how me departure from England 7s happened and I felt let down and unfairly treated. This did lead me to being resentful, and I think if my time coaching Fiji hadn’t happened then this feeling would have only festered and made things worse. Luckily for me, the Islands came calling and changed me forever.
There is a Greek word called ‘euthymia‘. I know this because I had a bottle of red wine once that was called something close to this, so I googled it and up came this;
Euthymia – a Greek word means ‘the sense of our own path and how we should stay on it without getting distracted’.
It’s not about being better than the next man or the next team, it’s about being as good as you possibly can be.
The devil on your shoulder
You probably will have missed seeing this unless you had a very keen eye over the last few years, but we actually used a little trigger in training and matches with Fiji that is a good analogy for this. We used to talk about the little devil on your shoulder that appears sometimes when the going gets tough. It might be a really hard session when you want to take your foot off the gas, or a long passage of play when you feel like having a few more seconds on the floor after a tackle rather than get up and get back into the action. The boys would just flick off that imaginary devil on their shoulder to trigger positive thinking.
It’s a bit like that with your ego. When you have those selfish thoughts I’m talking about, you need to have that trigger to give you that self-awareness and push your ego aside.
As I constantly say, being the best version of yourself is what matters. That’s what helps give you contentment as well as a clear and uncluttered vision. It’s about how you can improve and be better, rather than take pot shots at others. About how you should feel proud watching an old team, or business, doing well, knowing that you were part of the foundations for that success. Leaving your team in a better place and being proud of what they are now achieving without you. Of course the opposite can also occur, and you can leave an organisation in a far worse state if you opt for short-sighted vision over long-term and legacy. More to come on this in a future blog.
The article below is an extract from the blog post: "recover, reset, and run, run, run" by Ben Ryan. Click here for the original article.
I thought I’d throw some quick insight on this weekend’s HSBC World Sevens Series and the challenges all the teams will face in having to back up their performances after playing at the Sydney Sevens last week.
For the data geeks, here are some numbers from last week:
Every player in a 7s team covers approximately 1.6km to 2.2km each game. Six games equals around 13km.
It means that players will cover about 20km in a tournament weekend, and on top of collisions in the games, including scrums, tackles and rucks, that’s a big load. In comparison, it is unlikely that you will run more than 10km for most positions in the XVs game. International sevens players will do back-to-back games in a weekend and then fly to another country, often in a different time zone, and do it all again.
Teams also, quite often, start game one on day one of a tournament not totally recovered from jet lag. Once they do get over jet lag, off they go to another tournament or travel back home. They wake up after day one of a tournament with knocks and fatigue – the feeling of being in a car crash is the usual analogy, but whatever ‘body feels beaten up’ reference you use, no one jumps out of bed sprightly and ready for the off.
A lot of teams do what they call a ‘blow out’ before their first game in a tournament and before the second day at a tournament as well. A ‘blow out’ involves a short session that can be on a field or in a gym or perhaps a swimming pool. I’ve seen some teams do it in local parks, outside hotels and even in stadium car parks. The argument for doing this on top of all the workload they already have to do in game time is to give the players their ‘second wind’ so they are ready to go for the first game. A primer of sorts. I used to do it with the England Sevens team but I didn’t like it; it seemed counter-intuitive. We did some research with UK Sport and Bath University around the use of ‘blow outs’, and research couldn’t tell us that it was hugely positive, so when I went to Fiji I binned it.
As far as I’m aware, Fiji Sevens were the only team in the history of the sevens to have a perfect ‘day one season’ – winning 30/30 pool games in 2014/15. We actually did some contrast preparations – one side of the hotel corridor would have hot baths or showers running in the players rooms, and on the other side we set up ice baths. Skipping between the two and getting the benefits of that certainly worked for us and kept the legs away from another 1-2km of needless running.
Your #HSBC7s winners in New Zealand are @FijiRugby. #NZSevens pic.twitter.com/w6jTkbybFy— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) February 4, 2018
Your #HSBC7s winners in New Zealand are @FijiRugby. #NZSevens pic.twitter.com/w6jTkbybFy
Other tricks teams will use is in recovery and preparation. NormaTec, or other compression systems, would be used to aid recovery, and the Game Ready system used to ice and compress knocks before, after and even as the players sleep are all used. Foam rollers and Therabands litter changing rooms. Beetroot and cherry juice get gulped down, light emitting headphones, meditation, compression wear, acupuncture, massage, swimming, carb loading, coaches putting themselves into a state of ketosis to think more clearly, are all evident during tournaments. That might have been me, although it certainly didn’t work in Vegas with the muffins they usually had in the canteen! The days get longer and an occasional can of coke or ‘red ambulance’ was occasionally grabbed too – a weakness I managed to eventually lose.
The medics work overtime, the coaches hunch over the match analysis and the players do the same. Referees are no different; they will be having meetings with coaches, coach educators, mentors and tournament officials as well as their normal training schedules. The management teams of all the playing squads will be washing kit, changing numbers on jerseys, organising flights for departing injured players, getting visas, and dealing with last minute ticket requests or VIP visits to the tournament. The management keep the team happy and are constantly thrown curve balls as training venues are changed, boots are lost, mouthguards replaced, drug testers arrive and needing to be managed. You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find long studs in Hong Kong too.
Tournaments also have official functions that all teams go to. Captains do interviews and photo shoots and often teams will visit schools in the lead up to the tournament weekend to share the sevens love. It’s all fun if you treat it as a challenge but tournament week is also pretty full on.
So, as you see all the teams run out this weekend, you’ll have a little more insight into the preparation that goes on behind the scenes that leads up to that point. Coaches and players accelerate their experiences so quickly on the sevens circuit.
Ben Ryan’s new book can be pre-ordered here. Just click the link to read Ben’s ‘Sevens Heaven: The Beautiful Chaos of Fiji’s Olympic Dream‘.
benryan.co.uk | Website
Week by week, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are flooded with tons of content from the world of 7s. To stay on top of the game we are doing the hard work for you and gather the best bits of the week. Enjoy!
The Sydney 7s were the dream weekend for the Aussies. Both, the men's and women's won their respective competitions at the very first fully integrated male and female competitions. Australias long-serving scrum-half Morgan Stannard sealed the deal in the final with this beauty
The Australian men's team were strong and proved that they belong in the mix for the series title, but their female counterparts are currently in a world of their own. Probably the best women's 7s team ever
It's not very often the case that one costume causes such a huge viral hype. Literally, everyone involved with 7s had to post a pic of the Avo-Man. Such a simple, but genius fancy dress outfit. Avo-Man you nailed it!
Argentina's Luciano Gonzales with this unbelievable piece of skill: Makes a try-saver and then still has the power to cover the whole pitch to score the try for his team.
Fiji are back at their bes. They won the New Zealand 7s because of tries like this
WE NEED YOUR OLD BOOTS!
Do you have a pair of rugby boots or any other rugby equipment which is still in good shape but not used anymore? If so, please get in touch.
We are collecting boots, balls, shirts and other equipment for the Bula Boots charity in Fiji. All equipment will be shipped from the UK to Fiji, to support the less privileged next generation of 7s players.
Just message us to arrange a collection. Thank you so much for your help!
Photo: www.rugby.com.au / Stuart Walmsley
England's Sevens Men's team stayed unbeaten after the opening day of the Commonwealth Games 7s competition. Simon Amor's team finished the group stage in top position after convincing victories over Jamaica (38-5) and Samoa (0-33). In the Pool decider against hosts Australia, England were level 12-12 at half-time but dominated the second half to win 26-17. England will face New Zealand in tomorrow’s semi-final.
Australia, under captain Jesse Parahi, finished the pool second and will face Kenya in the 5th place play-off match tomorrow.
In Group A, World Sevens Series champions and Gold medallists of the last Commonwealth Games, South Africa, only conceded one try all day, when they beat Scotland 26-5. In the opening match, they faced Malaysia (43-0) before they overcame Papua New Guinea 0-52.
The Blitzbokke will play rivals Fiji in the other semi-final, a heavily anticipated encounter between two of the worlds best 7s teams.
The Scots also managed to get away with a clean sheet against Malaysia (41-0) and Papua New Guinea (27-0), however, the defeat against South Africa means they miss out on the medals play-offs.
Gareth Baber, a Welshman, and current Fiji coach, almost fail to beat his home nation in the group D decider. However, eventually, the flying Fijians proved once more their outstanding quality by beating Wales 21-17. Previously, they overcame Sri Lanka 63-5 and Uganda 54-0 effortlessly.
England’s semi-final opponent New Zealand dominated Group C, with wins over Zambia (54-0), Kenya (7-40) and Canada (7-33).
In the remaining pool matches of the women’s competition, New Zealand beat Canada 24-7 and South Africa lost to Kenya’s ladies 10-19.
The Black Ferns will go head to head with England’s women’s team, who beat Wales 45-0 in their respective group match. The other semi-final will be between heavy title favourites Australia. The Olympic champions beat Fiji 17-10 to secure a semi-final against Canada.
The knock-out matches resume tomorrow morning with the women’s placing 5-8 at 12.31 AM (BST). The Gold medal matches are scheduled for 05:42 AM (BST)
Commonwealth Games | Results: Day 1 Men's
Commonwealth Games | Results: Day 2 Women's
Commonwealth Games | Fixtures Finals
PRESS RELEASE BY WORLD RUGBY
Picture: World Rugby
Fiji became the ninth women's team to confirm their place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after reaching the final of the Oceania Rugby Sevens Championship, while Australia's men will join their women's team in Japan after also getting the job done at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.
A packed BC Place Stadium in Vancouver helped hosts Canada to secure a place in the Cup quarter-final following two pool-stage wins against Scotland and Russia on Saturday. Only New Zealand could stop Damian MacGrath’s in a close encounter (14-15) and as a result, Canada will face series leaders South Africa today. New Zealand ended the day without a loss and will face England on day two.
The 40,000 enthusiastic fans witnessed an entertaining day of 7s not just by the home team but also by neighbours USA, who swiped through the first tournament with a clean sheet. Mike Friday’s team seem to carry over the strong performance from Las Vegas where they finished 3rd. After wins against Japan, France and Australia, the team will be challenged by Argentina in the Cup quarters.
Following an opening victory against Samoa, Argentina lost to Wales but managed to land a historic 26-24 win against Olympic champions Fiji. However, with wins over Wales and Samoa, Fiji still managed to stay in the top-end of the tournament as they will go head-to-head with Australia on day two.
Top-favourites South Africa continued their winning run with a solid start against Chile and a 15-5 win against Kenya. In the pool decider against England, both teams worked hard to get away with three points however the match resulted in a 12-12 draw, enough for South Africa to take the top spot in Pool A.
South Africa v Canada
USA v Argentina
New Zealand v England
Fiji v Australia
Kenya v Scotland
France v Samoa
Russia v Chile
Wales v Japan
Canada Sevens | Results Day 1
Canada Sevens | Fixtures Day 2
Text, Photos and Videos: World Rugby
Winning their second ever Cup final, the first in 2015 at the London Sevens, Mike Friday’s men thrilled the crowds and held opponents Argentina to a zero score line after another blockbuster day of rugby in Las Vegas.
USA, unbeaten in the weekend’s tournament, outplayed Fiji in the Cup semi-final 19-7 and faced stiff opposition in Argentina who also went into the game with a clean sheet and a well-worked 12-10 victory over South Africa. Eager to improve on last year’s Bronze finish in Vegas, USA secured a 28-0 victory with Perry Baker getting their first points on the board. Barrett’s first try followed and two successful conversions from Folau Niua gave the hosts a 14-0 halftime lead. Barrett added his second score straight out of the gates and after holding firm USA added a fourth and final try through Carlin Isles, Niua successfully kicking four from four to seal an emphatic victory at full time.
On a momentous day for USA Sevens, head coach Mike Friday said, “Credit to the men in the arena they were outstanding, they went out there and executed. They’ve executed all three days but especially today we had to change tactics for the Fiji semi we then had to readjust for the Final everyone delivered and that’s great to see. This is a total squad effort and I’m lucky to have such a great bunch of players and support staff.
“We want to show the sporting landscape in the USA what rugby can be and how that fits within the American landscape and this hopefully will touch and reach a lot of sports fans who realise they’ve got another national team that they can be proud of and that they can support.”
HSBC Player of the Final, Barrett added, ”It's such a team effort, we've worked so hard for so long. Three straight years in a semi-final in Las Vegas and to come here, missing our captain and missing a number of players, it's just so amazing to win on home soil. A second Cup final ever for the USA and it feels great to be at home."
It was day full of breath-taking action as Fiji, champions in New Zealand, beat South Africa 26-22 in the Bronze Final, whilst France secured the Challenge Trophy with a 26-19 win over Canada.
USA Sevens | Results Day 3
World Rugby Sevens Series | Standings
In the opening round of the HSBC World Sevens Series, South Africa beat Fiji to win the first tournament of the season. At the prestigious Dubai Sevens, South Africa secured the Cup with a 26-14 win in the final.
Tries from Cecil Afrika and Branco du Preez gave the Blitzbokke an early lead, however Fijian captain Osea Kolinisau fired back to make it 14-7 at half-time.
In the second half Jerry Tuwai scored another try to level the score for Fiji, but shortly afterwards Chris Dry and Seabelo Senatla sealed the deal with a try each.
In the bronze final, speedster Dan Norton scored a remarkable four tries against Wales, resulting in a 33-10 win.
Australia finished the day in fifth place while USA won the Challenge Trophy with a 28-14 win over Samoa.
The next round of the HSBC World Sevens Series will be staged next weekend (10.12.-11.12.) in Cape Town.
CUP FINAL | Fiji 14-26 South Africa
BRONZE FINAL | England 38-10 Wales
CHALLENGE TROPHY | SAMOA 14-28 USA
All Dubai Sevens results
Text, Picture and Video: World Rugby
Over the course of three scintillating days of action, Gareth Baber's side enthralled the crowd as they achieved something that no other side has ever been able to do.
A pair of tries from Kalione Nasoko and Vilimoni Botitu helped Fiji beat USA 29-15 in the Cup final in Cape Town and secure their first HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series victory in South Africa since 2005.
It was Fiji's first final since 2009 and completed a fantastic weekend — in which they remained unbeaten — by defeating the United States.
Nasoko opened the scoring with a solo run after some excellent Fiji defending, before they were handed two gift tries. First Botitu got between a Madison Hughes pass and was free to run from deep in his own half, and then Perry Baker fumbled a one-handed play for Sevuloni Mocenacagi to capitalise.
The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series was decided on the final day of the series as Fiji beat the USA in the Cup semi-finals to secure a fourth world series title.
Gareth Baber’s outfit, who went into this last stop of the series two points ahead of the USA, marched on to cap their series-clinching day with the tournament victory after beating New Zealand 35-24 in the Cup final.
Fiji came out on top against South Africa for the second time in eight days, although this time their prize was not ninth place but a first HSBC Sydney Sevens title.
Text, Pictures and Video: World Rugby
With just eight pool matches played in the men's world series on day one it was Spain who grabbed the headlines with their first victory over Australia since Las Vegas in 2013. Pablo Feijoo’s side clinched a memorable 17-12 win over Australia, when Ignacio Martin Goenaga’s scored off the last play of the game. It was his second try of the match after Inaki Villanueva had opened their account during the first minute.
Scotland also ran in a last gasp score against England to take a narrow 22-19 victory, following over 70 seconds of phase play ending with Lee Jones going over the whitewash.
Elsewhere Fiji kept their hopes of a fourth consecutive Hong Kong title on track with a convincing 31-12 victory over Samoa, while Kenya's Willy Ambaka scored his 100th try on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series as they beat Canada 33-10.
South Africa and New Zealand both showcased the strength of their squads with 36-5 and 45-0 victories respectively over Russia and South Korea. Day two commences with Argentina, runners-up in Las Vegas and Cape Town, taking on France at 11.14am local time (GMT+8).
The men’s World Rugby Sevens Series qualifier is running parallel to the 16-team HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2018 main event. Twelve teams are battling it out with the winner taking the prestigious prize of core team status for 2019.
After two rounds of pool matches Uruguay, Ireland, Uganda and Germany all are two from two. Ireland accumulated the most points of the quartet following a 41-5 result against the Cook Islands and a 26-0 victory over Jamaica. Germany, last season's finalists in the tournament, were pushed by hosts Hong Kong before a securing a 20-point win over Zimbabwe. Jamaica and the Cook Islands will open proceedings on day two at 9.00am local time (GMT+8) with two unbeaten sides, Ireland and Uruguay, going head-to-head directly after in Pool G.
The first six matches on Saturday will decide the complexion of the Cup quarter-finals and they will finish the day at 6.18pm local time.
Hong Kong Sevens | Results Day 1
Hong Kong Sevens | Fixtures Day 2
Spain booked their spot in the Cup quarter-finals for only the second time in their history on day two at the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.
Head coach Pablo Feijoo's side will face series leaders South Africa in the final eight on a sold-out Sunday in Hong Kong, their first Cup appearance since London in 2012. The Cup quarter-finals are as follows:
Fiji v Argentina - 10:58hrs (GMT+8)
South Africa v Spain - 11:20hrs
USA v New Zealand - 11:42
Kenya v Scotland - 12:07
“We are working well," said Spain captain Francisco Hernandez. "The Pool was very tough for us but to get into the Cup quarter-finals during the season makes us very happy."
The Challenge Trophy quarter-finals, that start Sunday’s order of play, will be Samoa v France, England v Australia, Wales v Russia and Canada v South Korea.
Four teams are closing in on a spot on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2019 after the semi-finals were confirmed in the Hong Kong qualifier.
Germany, Chile, Japan and Ireland remain in the race for a place as a core team on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2019
After two days of thrilling action, just four teams remain as Germany face Chile, and Japan take on Ireland in the qualifier semi-finals on Sunday. The action will kick off at 12.32hrs (GMT+8).
The qualifier, which runs parallel to the world series event in Hong Kong, draws in sell-out crowds with the prospect of world series core team status up for grabs. The 15th placed team in the world series will be relegated at the end of the series in June and replaced with the winner of the qualifier here in Hong Kong.
Chile and Germany both made the final four last year, while Japan will be looking to bounce back after being relegated from the world series last May. Ireland however find themselves in unfamiliar territory but head coach Anthony Eddy remains cautious of opponents their opponents.
"They're a good side. They've got World Series experience as well so we'll have to be on our game tomorrow morning to compete against them."
Germany and Uganda opened the quarter-finals former overpowered their opponents. They put four tries on the board, including a brace from Marvin Dieckmann, and last season’s finalists in this competition will now face Chile for another place in the final.
Chile broke the home crowd’s hearts as they put Hong Kong out of the running for core team status next season. Benjamín De Vidts’ two scores plus a score from 90 metres helped to secure their 24-12 victory.
The other side of the draw saw Japan dominate possession against Uruguay. Josefa Lilidamu impressed both in attack and defence during their 26-12 win.
The final team to book a place in the last four were Ireland. They have conceded just ten points in the competition so far and scored after just 20 seconds in their quarter-final. John O'Donnell's try was the first of six in total.
The deciding day will kick off at 12.32pm local time (GMT+8) with the final taking place at 4.30pm. Follow the denouement of the competition on worldrugby.org and facebook.com/worldrugby.
Hong Kong Sevens | Results Day 2
Hong Kong Sevens | Fixtures Day 3
Fiji secured their second consecutive title at the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens after they beat Kenya 24-12.
In a repeat of last month's final in Vancouver, Fiji ran in four tries to move within just three points of series leaders South Africa in the overall standings and take their third tournament win of the 2018 world series.
Two yellow cards in the first half for Kenya's Collins Injera and Willy Ambaka allowed the Pacific islanders to take a 17-0 lead at half-time. Despite tries from Kenya's Billy Odhiambo and Oscar Ouma in the second half, Fiji were uncatchable and cemented their reputation in Hong Kong as the team to beat.
"I'd like to thank my boys for the team effort and thank the Kenyan team for a good game,” said Fiji captain Jerry Tuwai. “Hong Kong is always special for us, we respect and honour the tradition that Fiji has with the Hong Kong Sevens."
South Africa claimed the bronze medal after beating New Zealand 29-7 and Argentina beat USA 14-12 to secure fifth. The Challenge Trophy winners were France, beating Canada 33-7.
With Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 just over 100 days away, the seedings for the tournament will be confirmed on Wednesday as excitement builds for the competition in San Francisco on July 20-22.
The world series will head to Singapore on April 28/29 after stopping by the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast next weeken
Japan has been promoted to the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2019 after beating Germany in the annual world series qualifier in Hong Kong.
After three days of pulsating action, head coach Damian Karauna’s side finished up 19-14 winners against a powerful German outfit, who have suffered their second qualifier final defeat in as many years.
The victory in front of a packed Hong Kong Stadium means Japan will become one of the 15 core teams contesting the 10-round world series, beginning next December.
“I think that it’s great for us," said Karauna. "We’ve worked really hard to get back and we’ve just got to get that consistency now and keep up with the world series teams. It means a lot and we’ve had a lot of support here which has been great for us.”
In the final, Japan crossed first before Germany took a 14-5 lead into the break after tries from Johnathon Dawe and Bastian Himmer. With less than 15-seconds left, Karauna’s team trailed 12-14 but managed to snatch the match-winner through Masahiro Nakano who finished in the corner in front of jubilant Japanese supporters.
Before joining the series they will contest the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco on July 20-22 as one of the two Asian qualifier
Hong Kong Sevens | Results Day 3
Hong Kong Sevens | Standings
Source: World Rugby
Fiji beat South Africa 22-0 at the Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens and claimed their first tournament victory of the season.
The Olympic Champions, unbeaten all weekend, scored four tries in the final as a weekend of pulsating rugby came to a thrilling end on Sunday. The result means Fiji jump to second place in the rankings ahead of England while the Blitzboks remain on top with three tournaments left this season.
Fijian coach Gareth Baber admitted his team were happy to finally get a tournament win under their belts: "With the quality of players we have here I'm very aware that we should be winning Cups. I'm also aware that Ben (Ryan - fomer coach) did a great job and that we needed to keep the pressure on South Africa at the top of the table. I knew they could do it - it was just a matter of time before we could get it done."
Meanwhile, Spain secured their spot on next season's HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series after beating Germany 12-7 in the World Rugby series qualifier final at the Hong Kong stadium. Scotland won the Challenge Trophy while Australia claimed bronze after beating USA.
The series moves to Singapore for the eighth round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series next weekend, 15-16 April.
Fiji’s 31-12 victory saw them finish the HSBC Canada Sevens unbeaten and move to second place, overtaking New Zealand, in the 2018 series standings.
Today’s Cup win is Fiji first in Vancouver and their 33rd win in 66 Cup finals.
The thrilling final was the second meeting between the two sides this weekend as both Fiji and Kenya went head to head in Pool C on day one. Fiji took the spoils in that match with a closely contested 24-21 score line.
The final on day two followed Fiji’s victories over Argentina (43-7) in the quarter-final and South Africa (15-12) in the semi-final. It was Kenya who were first on the scoring board with a try from Willy Ambaka, but Fiji responded through Josua Vakurunabili and by half time both sides had added another to draw even 12-12 at the break. Fiji dominated the second half with three further tries, Sevuloni Mocenacagi adding to his first half score to secure a brace and the HSBC Player of the Final title.
After the full-time whistle Head Coach Gareth Baber was pleased with their final performance and the two days as a whole, “There’s a real sense of pride more than anything today. We handled ourselves well across the weekend to get to a final with Kenya, who we’d had a tough battle with yesterday. It was very close at the break, we hadn’t really played much at half time but the team responded in the second half and produced the rugby that we now Fijians can and it was great to watch.”
“You’re always looking for some consistency in form and you get confidence from it and when you have confidence you play better again. We learned from last weekend, losing to USA but we knew we had to come here and get something out of it to keep pressure on the top of the table and that’s what we’ve done - mission accomplished as far as Vancouver is concerned and we go back to Fiji now to prepare for Hong Kong.”
South Africa claimed the bronze medal after beating USA 29-7, the series leaders running in five tries to one in front of a packed BC Place.
The Challenge Trophy winners were Scotland after day two victories over Canada (19-0), Wales 26-15) and Spain (25-5) in the final. Samoa secured the 13th place win over Canada 21-15 and England beat Australia for 5th place 31-4.
Afters six rounds, South Africa retain their top spot in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2018 standings but Fiji, now in second place, are only eight points behind them with New Zealand in third. The teams will reconvene in Hong Kong 6-8 April.
Canada Sevens | Results
via World Rugby
Day 1 | Summary
Australia, South Africa, England and Fiji win all three pool matches on day one of the Singapore Sevens 2018.
New Zealand, Samoa, Kenya and Spain second in their sections after two victories.
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