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Fiji Time: 12:51 PM on Thursday 17 April

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7s coach stands firm

Zanzeer Singh
Thursday, December 13, 2012

DIGICEL Fiji 7s head coach Alifereti Dere will not step down from his position despite admitting that the national team failed to achieve the target set out for the second leg of the 2012/2013 HSBC Sevens World Series.

Dere has come under heavy criticism after naming seven new players for the Dubai and South Africa 7s tournaments, a ploy which seemed to have misfired after setting a good platform by winning the Gold Coast 7s in Australia in October.

In both the Dubai and South Africa 7s tournaments, Fiji failed to go beyond the cup quarter-final stages. The side was relegated to the plate division but was unable to capture that title.

Dere said the target was to finish in the top three in both tournaments.

He said the major factor was that the boys did not score points during the matches.

"I do not believe in individual critics," Dere said.

"If a provincial team calls me to step down then I may consider, however, if it is individual critics then I will not step down.

"For our overall target we did not achieve that. We had set a target of reaching the semi-finals but we did not get there.

"The main factor was that the boys did not score points on the field.

"But for the performance of the boys it was OK with me as head coach.

"I was satisfied with the performance of the new players. We had different players featuring in the pool stages.

"As for the experienced players I think they stepped up guiding the new boys both on and off the field.

"We have six tournaments remaining.

"So we are pretty sure of getting back to reaching our target. We are aiming to win the HSBC SWS. It is getting tougher every time.

"In South Africa we were in a tough pool. The other teams have stepped up."

New Zealand leads the 2012/2013 HSBC SWS with 60 points followed by France on 46 points and Fiji on 44 points.

The Wellington 7s will be played in New Zealand from February 1-2.