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Fiji Time: 6:12 AM on Saturday 19 April

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Fijian flair

Arin Kumar
Wednesday, December 11, 2013

NATIONAL sevens coach Ben Ryan says he is impressed by the commitment from players in the second leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series and he is keen on sticking with the Fijian style of attack.

Fiji won the Dubai 7s title for the first time and won the Plate at the Nelson Mandela Bay 7s tournament to accumulate 48 points and trail series leaders New Zealand (58) and South Africa (56).

"We won 11 out of the 12 games played — no one had a better win/loss record and that's with 12 players that were not in the squad for Dubai and Port Elizabeth last year," he said.

"To win Dubai for the first time, inflict NZ's heaviest ever defeat were also big highlights."

He said the third place standing on the series was a result of the hard yards put in by the players.

"All the squad were 100 per cent committed at all times. It's a new and evolving environment and the team will need time to blend in.

"I've seen the players committed to improve, adjust to my demands and play as a team.

"Only four teams from Dubai made the cup again in Port Elizabeth — it's a very tough ask to backup tournament after tournament."

The former England coach said no team would go unbeaten for the season or win every tournament.

"The big thing is to stay in the hunt for the top prize and although I think winning the series this season would be a huge overachievement for a lot of reasons, we are right up there fighting for the top spot.

"We will continue to do that all season and if we keep improving, learning and striving to be better then it's going to make for a very exciting year.

"I hope everyone can see I am committed to playing the Fijian style in attack — unique to the islands and add some structure on and off the field to help us.

"My thanks to Digicel, the players and management with us and back at Gordon St (Rugby House) for their commitment to this new chapter."

Meanwhile, Ryan heads home to England for the holidays.

"Home to Fiji for boys today. I'm back to London for Christmas… then to Fiji and prep for Vegas/Wellington," he wrote on Twitter.