Fiji beat NZ in Oceania Sevens final
4 October, 2014, 10:41 pm
Update: 10:41PM Fiji have sent out a scary warning to other teams in the IRB Sevens World Series, after their B team dominated the Oceania Sevens.
Playing in Noosa, Queensland, Ben Ryan’s Fijian side were too good for the New Zealand development team in the Oceania Sevens final, winning 21-5.
While a loss to Fiji in preseason doesn’t signal the end of the world, the manner in which the Fijians did it will leave New Zealand coach Gordon Tietjens with plenty to consider ahead of the Gold Coast Sevens next weekend.
The scary part of that equation is that none of the Fijian players that took out the Oceania Sevens will play on the Gold Coast, with Fiji’s Oceania side essentially a B team.
New Zealand will be better next weekend, but what Fiji’s top squad will bring is also a mystery.
We know they will be fast and powerful, and if they add something their B side couldn’t. they’ll be absolutely terrifying.
Tietjens development side had rookies Tony Ensor and Matt Clutterbuck starting the final, but it was a veteran who opened the scoring.
New Zealand bossed territory and possession early, and Tomasi Cama made the most of it to break free and dot down near the left touchline.
Fiji fought back and started to hold onto the ball well, and had their first try midway through the half through Sitiveni Waqa to take the lead.
Cama was then sent to the bin when a Fijian player was impeded when kicking ahead, as both sides started to get niggly.
New Zealand limped through to the break without conceding again, but the big, fast Fijian squad were in again after the restart.
Vatemo Ravouvou crossed the line after a delightful chip and chase bamboozled the New Zealand defence.
Moments later it was Niko Verekauta’s turn to cross the line, streaking up the right wing to score.
New Zealand couldn’t find a way through the big Fijian defence, with the match ending at 21-5.
Big guns DJ Forbes, Tim Mikkelson and Gillies Kaka, among others, will return for New Zealand next week on the Gold Coast.
The New Zealand women won the Oceania Sevens women’s final, dismantling Australia 31-10 in the final.
Kelly Brazier scored two first half tries either side of a try by captain Sarah Goss to hand New Zealand a 21-5 halftime lead.
Shiray Tane extended the lead after the break, before Goss grabbed her second of the match moments later.
Brazier and teenager Gayle Broughton were putting on a stunning show of stepping and speed for New Zealand.
Sean Horan’s side have worked hard on their creativity in attack, and the team appears to have taken it up another gear heading into the new season.
Australia didn’t have any answers to stop New Zealand’s lethal attack, but did claim a try near the end to make the score more respectable.