The Fiji 7s Men’s team was disappointed yesterday in Hamilton despite its strong performance in day one of the competition, but is now looking to the Sydney leg of the competition.
While disappointed with their performance, veteran halfback and co-captain Jerry Tuwai remains hopeful for the future: “To everyone back in Fiji, trust us we can come back. Fiji can rise again from this defeat.”
Although the side managed to meet the tough challenges issued by neighbours Samoa and Australia on Saturday, they couldn’t handle Argentina on Sunday, losing emphatically in its last pool match.
As a result, Fiji joined Samoa at the bottom of the pool.
Fiji later won against South Africa to finish 9th in Hamilton, maintaining its 7th spot on the overall World Rugby 7s series rankings.
Samoa sits at number 12 in the rankings.
The Fijiana (women's) side also lost their final pool match early Sunday morning to the New Zealand Black Ferns 38 – 21.
The game was all tied up 21 points a piece going into half-time.. The current world champs looked stunned for a while before edging the Fijianas in the second half.
The side also went down narrowly against Russia 21- 26 in their last game in Hamilton.
Captain Raijieli Daveua was badly injured against Russia; she needed to be carried from the field.
Despite these setbacks, things are looking very promising for the Fijian women’s side as the players showed signs of development and maturity in their games in Hamilton.
Pacific Women’s Rugby is still developing in our region. Hopefully more Pacific Island countries will join the Fijiana in the current 7s series before too long.
New Zealand won both the men's and women's competition in Hamilton.
Pacific Island teams hope to make the crowd go wild again at the Hamilton 7s this weekend.
It's that time of the year when New Zealand rugby fans, especially Pacific Islanders, cram the stands of FMG Stadium and the busy city streets of the Waikato region.
The Fiji 7s men's side is looking to once again defend its 7s title in Hamilton. The side is usually the biggest draw in any tournament they enter and so happens to attract many rugby fans from near and far.
They’ve made a good start, beating Samoa 19-12, although the Samoans put up a strong fight.
The Fiji team has won in Hamilton for the past two years and hopes to lift the trophy for the third consecutive time.
This year's tournament will again host both men and women's competition, as it did last year.
Fiji and Samoa will feature in the men's competition, while the Fijiana side will be the lone South Pacific team in the women's competition.
Tonga is not on the current HSBC 7s series roster and needs to win the qualifying tournaments to be promoted back to the top level.
Interestingly, this year's tournament will not feature any quarterfinal games. The whole quarterfinal stage is being omitted from the layout.
The new format was introduced by World Rugby in the belief that it will lessen the confusion in the finals day for fans, and create better opportunities and balance for women's rugby.
The Sydney 7s tournament will follow the same format, despite opposition from some teams and fans, including Fiji coach Gareth Baber.
The Hamilton 7s started today and will finish tomorrow.
New Zealand currently leads the World 7s series rankings for the men competition with 41 points. Fiji is ranked at 6th place with 23 points and Samoa at 7th place with 19 points. The Fijiana are currently in 8th spot in the women's category with 20 points trailing the New Zealand Black Ferns at number 1 spot with 56 points.