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Dere wary of Kenyans

Zanzeer Singh
Thursday, November 22, 2012

DIGICEL Fiji 7s coach Alifereti Dere is wary of the early threat Kenya will provide in the pool stages of the second tournament of the 2012/2013 HSBC Sevens World Series in Dubai next weekend.

Kenya, under the guidance of former England coach Mike Friday, upset Australia during the quarter-finals of the Gold Coast 7s last month.

Dere classed the Kenyans as "giant killers" in the abbreviated code. He said their aim was to be in the top three going into the next leg of the SWS in February.

Dere said this year they had more preparation time for the Dubai and South Africa 7s tournaments after the three tournaments last year (Gold Coast, Dubai and South Africa) were staged over consecutive weekends.

The former national rep said winning the Gold Coast 7s was the perfect start to their campaign.

"We have set the pace in the series," Dere said.

"This year's preparations have been better. We had more time compared to last year.

"Our aim is still the same and we want to be in the top three after South Africa. We have made the right start. Now we have to build on the momentum. If we can carry on like this then the target of winning the SWS will be in sight."

The Fiji 7's management made a big call to include seven new faces in the team for the Dubai and South Africa tournaments.

The new caps include Inia Tukere, Gasaudua Tube, Vilitati Nadialobo, Maleli Bula, John Stewart, Peni Vaciloa and Peni Maka.

Dere assured the fans that they would record positive results despite making many changes.

He said the players were only new to the SWS but not the sport.

"The seven new faces in the team have been participating in the major local tournaments," Dere said.

"They are new to the SWS but not new to the game. Our pool is strong. Kenya will be a major threat. They qualified for the quarter-final in the last tournament so they are highly rated."

"Scotland plays a constructive sevens game and we cannot under estimate them. Spain is the unknown pack in the group."

"For the fans they have been worried about the changes. But I can assure them that these players play on the same level as the other experienced boys in the team. We are expecting positive results."

The Dubai 7s will be played on November 30 and December 1 while the South Africa 7s will be held in Port Elizabeth from December 7-8.





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