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Mental fatigue

Rashneel Kumar
Monday, April 01, 2013

THE Digicel Fiji 7s players lost it in their minds as they bombed out of the Japan 7s tournament in the least expected way.

The national side lost to USA 19-21 in the Plate semi-final at the Prince Chichibu Stadium in Tokyo yesterday to slip to third place in the latest 2012/13 HSBC International Rugby Board Sevens World Series rankings with 98 points.

South Africa won the Japan 7s beating New Zealand 24-19 in a thrilling Cup showdown.

The All Blacks 7s has unofficially claimed this series leading on 132 points followed by the Blitzbokke on 100 points.

Fiji 7s coach Alifereti Dere said Fiji's 12-21 loss to Australia in the Cup quarters affected the concentration of the players.

The Australians were impressive in defence and held the surging Fijians at bay, denying them the much needed tries.

The Nemani Nagusa-skippered side was further rattled by the brave tackles from Michael O'Connor's men as Fiji struggled with passes and opportunities to break through the Australian defence.

"The boys were mentally affected when they went down in the Plate semis.

"They were unable to stay mentally tough when they needed to progress through the competition," Dere said.

"But I'm happy with the way these players played.

"Consistency was something we were looking to build on but we couldn't, we hope to do that in the remaining leg."

Fiji played with 11 men after Ilai Tinai was suspended for five weeks at the Hong Kong 7s final and replacement Josefa Lilidamu was unable to join the team because of personal commitments.

Dere said the Scotland and London 7s next month would be vital for the team as the Sevens Rugby World Cup will be held in June in Russia.

"We will come back home and regroup and start our work for the remaining leg and the world cup," he said.

"With the RWC 7s coming up, it is important for the team to start getting consistent with its performance."

Meanwhile, Fiji is grouped with Australia, Argentina and Spain in Pool C of the Scotland 7s which will be held on May 4 and 5.

The national team is due to arrive home with the Hong Kong 7s title on Wednesday morning.





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