The Fijiana 7s team created history by defeated England in their first pool match at the Hamilton 7s tournament yesterday. The English women were caught napping on most occasions as the Pacific Island players danced through and around the English defence.
Captain Raijieli Daveua and seasoned veteran Rusila Nagasau led from the front and were instrumental in guiding the team to a first-time ever victory over a well-balanced English women’s 7s team.
Despite the historic win, the Fijiana’s unfortunately lost their second match to China. It was a fairly even head-to-head but most rugby pundits would say that Fiji were robbed of an easy win in the game.
As if the early permanent send-off was not enough, controversial calls made by the referee in charge throughout the game did not favour the Fijiana’s cause despite their valiant efforts.
In the end, China were gifted the win and Fiji might just be bundled out of the Cup contention.
In the men’s competition, Fiji and Samoa clashed horns in their first pool match. Samoa was quick off the blocks, scoring in the first minute straight from the get go.
Though appearing startled, the Fiji boys quickly regathered composure and immediately struck back with tries of their own.
The Samoans fought hard till the very the last whistle but still came up short with 12 -19 defeat.
Samoa were handed their second loss of the afternoon from a walloping margin from Argentina.
For Fiji, young Meli Derenalagi battled hard and proved to be very dominant in the contact areas, securing rucks and making crucial tackles for his side.
Pressure will be mounting for the 21-year-old rookie this weekend as he captains his country for the very first time.
He and World Rugby’s player of the year Jerry Tuwai take over the role from Paula Dranisinikula who is out with an injury.
Fiji just managed to keep the hopes alive with a 19 – 12 victory over the Aussies. Fiji will need to beat Argentina in its last pool match then automatically head to straight into the semi-finals.
Samoa is to play its last pool game tomorrow against Australia.
The Fijiana will play New Zealand. The Black Ferns have been in phenomenal form, which will make it an absolute cracker of a match today.