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Fiji Time: 3:40 AM on Saturday 19 April

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Fiji-NZ rematch looms in SA

Arin Kumar
Friday, December 06, 2013

BARRING any upsets, the Digicel Fiji 7s side will meet New Zealand once again in the semi-finals and this weekend it would be in the Nelson Mandela Bay 7s tournament in South Africa.

And this is a re-match that some All Blacks would be looking forward to after going down to the Ben Ryan coached side 0-44 last weekend in the Dubai 7s.

New Zealand 7s captain DJ Forbes told irb, he and his team were a little shell-shocked by the loss and would gladly face Fiji again to try and 'fix' their wrongs from their last meeting.

The eight try romp by Fiji set the new record of the biggest defeat New Zealand has tasted to date in the HSBC Sevens World Series.

The previous record was also held by Fiji when they handed the All Blacks a 43-14 thumping in the Cup quarter-finals at the George 7s in 2005.

"This is the second time we have been a part of a game like this," he told irb.com.

"We didn't get to play much because every bounce of the ball could have gone a hundred ways but it went the Fijians way.

"Titch (Gordon Tietjens) hit it on the head when he said that they'd (Fiji) played pretty much the perfect game of sevens

"For us more than anything, it was frustrating, we didn't get any firing shots…they pretty much had all the possession."

He said it was all part of the game and they had to accept their loss.

"Looking back, if anything, there were things that you purely can't control in the game of 7s.

"Those kick-offs were pretty much what started the snowball effect. But we are positive and confident of what we can do."

Forbes admitted he pondered the match against Fiji for 20 minutes in the changing room, trying to overcome the loss.

"Yeah, this is what we do as part of the team…we had been in tournaments pretty much at home and so in this case, we needed a quick turnaround."

For this weekend, Fiji has been drawn in pool A with Australia, Scotland and France while New Zealand is placed in pool C with Wales, Portugal and the US.

Should Fiji and New Zealand top their respective pools, they would face the second best team from pool D and pool B respectively in the cup quarter-finals.

If they both advance from that stage, they will surely meet in the semi-finals.

However, Forbes said they would not get ahead of themselves and will concentrate on getting through the pool stages unscathed.

"For us, we can't get too caught up focusing on Fiji's game.

"Definitely, there is going to be a lot of fire in the tank to get us (Fiji and New Zealand) to get there (Cup quarter-finals).

"We need to get through our pool matches but I am sure there are some of us who are hoping for that rematch (with Fiji) to right some wrongs.

"Sevens is a game of opportunities and if we do get that opportunity (to play Fiji in the semi-final), hopefully, the boys will be ready to fix it."

New Zealand plays its opening match against Portugal.