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Tietjens wary of Fijians

Rashneel Kumar
Friday, November 30, 2012

THE Digicel Fiji sevens side is rated highly by arch-rival New Zealand 7s coach Gordon Tietjens ahead of the Dubai 7s tournament.

Fiji which is expected to meet the Kiwis in the semi-finals, if both teams go through undefeated, is the favourites in the tournament this weekend.

Tietjens told the reporters at the pre-tournament press conference that Fiji would be the biggest threat to his side in Dubai.

Having been beaten by the Alifereti Dere-coached side in the first round of the IRB Sevens World Series in Australia last month, NZ is looking at the Dubai 7s to avenge their earlier loss.

"Fiji has probably got more strength in depth than any other country in the world," Tietjens told Gulf News.

"They lead the World Series currently and they've won the last two tournaments and they will be looking for a third event win in a row."

The All Blacks, however, hold a better record at 7he Sevens Stadium and they are hoping to use that as a motivation to jump in the driving seat in the series.

NZ have won in Dubai six times, while Fiji has two wins prior to the formation of the World Series in the late 1990s.

"They (Fiji) are no question, my biggest fear. There may also be England, Samoa, Australia and South Africa, but Fiji is no question," Tietjens, who is regarded as the best 7s coach, said.

"Their biggest plus, like any Pacific island team, is that they know the game so well."


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