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Fiji Time: 7:54 PM on Friday 22 August

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Missing link

Rashneel Kumar
Saturday, February 02, 2013

FORMER Fiji sevens assistant coach Etuate Waqa reiterated that the national coaches needed to work on finding the winning combination and maintain it to avoid further embarrassing losses in the International Rugby Board 7s Series.

He made the comments following Fiji's 14-12 and 21-12 losses yesterday to Scotland and Australia respectively. The national side hit the rock bottom after being relegated to the bowl competition for the first time following the two early losses in pool play.

However, Timoci Wainiqolo's men managed a 24-7 victory over Portugal in their final pool match last night to book a bowl quarter-final duel with the United States at 12.44pm today.

With the Rugby World Cup 7s to be held in June this year, Waqa said the understanding between the Fijian players was not there anymore.

He says while it takes time to build a winning combination, the national side needed to come with a perfect plan soon to stay competitive in the series.

"It's just the understanding between the individuals, they have lost it and there is no combination at all within the backline," Waqa said.

Waqa is the current Tonga 7s coach.

"Getting the combination right really matters on the field. You got to know each other otherwise you don't have any pattern at all.

"In the long run, changing players all the time is not wise. You have got to maintain the winning combination so that there is a consistency in the team."

Waqa, who was also a former Fiji dual international, said the national side lacked in almost all facet of the game during its pool play.

"I think they just didn't utilise the opportunity that they had and did not create anything on the field," he said.

"The competition is getting stronger each year and that's what rugby is all about.

"It depends on where the ball bounces and hard luck for them (Fiji), it wasn't in their favour," Waqa said.

Meanwhile England will play Scotland in the first cup quarter-final at 1.33pm.

Samoa tackles Argentina in the second quarter at 1.55, Australia faces hosts New Zealand at 2.17 and Kenya battles South Africa in the final quarter-final at 2.39pm.


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