ILAI Tinai had only one thing on his mind while spending two minutes in the sinbin against South Africa during the semi-finals of the Gold Coast 7s tournament at Skilled Park Stadium here in Robina yesterday.
He felt for the other six players on the field and the only way he could repay them was to score the winning try. And that he did as the Digicel Fiji 7s team romped to a 21-10 victory.
Tinai was sinbinned 2 minutes and 39 seconds into the second half when he was called up by Argentinian referee Federico Anselmi for throwing a punch. While sidelined, South Africa kicked a penalty and was behind by four points.
"I really felt for my brothers on the park when I was sinbinned. I prayed that God would give me the strength to return to the field and play my part and help the team win.
"I'm happy that God heard my prayer and helped me score the try. "It was a tough game like any knockout match. We had to step up to the challenge and I thank the team for doing what the coach had wanted of us."
Coach Timoci Wainiqolo stuck to his starting seven from the quarter-final win over Samoa earlier in the day.
Joji Raqamate, Ulaiyasi Lawavou and Tinai crossed over for Fiji's tries with Raqamate successful with the conversions.
South Afica's lone try was scored by Cecil Afrika while Branco du Preez added a conversion and a penalty.