MAJOR sponsors Digicel Fiji handed the Fiji 7s team a bonus payment of $19,079.65 for the third leg of the 2012/2013 HSBC Sevens World Series yesterday.
During the Wellington 7s Fiji lost in the final of the bowl competition to Canada 19-28 while in the Las Vegas tournament the national side went down to New Zealand 14-19 in extra time of the cup semi-final.
The bonus amount for the third leg is a far cry from that paid out when the team won the Gold Coast 7s last October.
Fiji collected a handsome bonus of $66, 778.20 after beating New Zealand 32-14 in the final.
For the second leg in Dubai and South Africa, the team collected a bonus of $30,527.
During the welcoming ceremony at Nadi Airport early yesterday morning, Digicel Fiji regional manager west Jiu Daunivalu said there were ups and downs in all sports.
She said the sponsors were confident that the national side would bounce back in the HSBC SWS.
"No team can win all the time," Daunivalu said.
"However the Digicel Fiji 7s team is known for bouncing back. The last leg of the tournament saw new teams coming up.
"This simply shows that the competition is growing from strength to strength. Smaller 7s nations such as Scotland, Kenya, Spain and Portugal are now competing equally with the bigger nations," Daunivalu said.
"As sponsors Digicel Fiji is confident that the national 7s team has the potential to win the tournament ahead. We would like to thank the coaches Timoci Wainiqolo and Alifereti Dere who have groomed potential rugby players and helped them fulfill their dream of donning the national jumper.
"Also congratulations to Samisoni Viriviri and Joji Ragamate for being selected into the dream team by the International Rugby Board commentators after the Las Vegas 7s."
The players and team officials were later treated to a light breakfast by the sponsors.