Fiji Time: 6:27 AM on Wednesday 22 October

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Criticism fails to bother Dere

Zanzeer Singh
Wednesday, October 17, 2012

DIGICEL Fiji 7s coach Alifereti Dere says they were not worried about the criticism of the team selection for the Gold Coast 7s.

Having faith in the new players, which included eight debutants, the former national rep said players like Joji Ragamate and Ilai Tinai had stepped up and assumed the senior roles very well.

Dere said the win had set the right platform for their bid to win the 2012/2013 HSBC Sevens World Series.

"It is a good start to the HSBC SWS and this has set the platform for our target to win the series," Dere said.

"For us we did not focus much on the critics. We knew the capabilities of the players because they have all participated in the Digicel Cup competition.

"Our target is to be in the top three in every leg in order to accomplish our goal. Winning the Gold Coast 7s is a big bonus for the team.

"The likes of Joji and Ilai have stepped into the senior roles. They have come through the last series and were very capable on the field."

The coach spoke highly of Ragamate, describing him as a very fit player, a good listener who communicates well with the players.

"What he does on the field speaks for itself," Dere added.

"I was communicating with Timoci (Wainiqolo) after every game. When we lost to Australia I told him that we needed to improve our kick offs. That was a major drawback against Australia. For the next tournament we will need to improve on that area.

"There are some injury concerns so we will have to see if those players fully recover. Most probably we will have a new team for the next two tournaments."

The national team will march into camp on October 30 to prepare for the upcoming Dubai and South Africa 7s.





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