THE Fijiana side beat Ruggby World Cup 7s women's champions New Zealand on their way to the final of the Oceania Women's 7s tournament in Noosa, Australia yesterday.
They were playing the hosts and defending champions Australia in the final when this edition when to press. On day one, Fiji had slumped to a 12-26 defeat to the same NZ side in their last match on Saturday.
The Fijiana began the day with a 0-26 loss to Australia and then beat Samoa and Papua New Guinea 31-0 and 54-0 respectively.
They played NZ in the semi-final and led 12-0 at half-time. They maintained the pressure on the Kiwis in the second half to win the match 17-10.
Coach Timoci Wainiqolo said he was very pleased with his team's performance on day one.
He said he was particularly happy with the improvement that they made as the day progressed.
"The girls showed a big improvement throughout the day and I was pleased with how they took the game to the world champions in our final match," he said.
"This experience is just so important for our girls.
"They don't need to be overawed by New Zealand and Australia because they can compete with them, but we need to play them more in tournaments like this for the girls to realise this."