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7s rivalry continues

Maciu Malo
Saturday, February 01, 2014

NATIONAL coach Ben Ryan is anticipating another titanic battle against All Blacks 7s master tactician Gordon Tietjens in next weekend's Wellington 7s.

In their previous encounters since Ryan's appointment as Fiji coach, both coaches have won a game each from two HSBC IRB 7s series encounters.

Fiji stunned the world champions 44-0 in one of their worst defeats in the history of the IRB 7s series during the Dubai 7s semi-final last year before New Zealand turned the table against Ryan's men with a 12-7 win at Las Vegas last weekend.

Ryan said he was looking forward to a tough encounter against Tietjens and his warriors on their own turf.

"We are up on points," said Ryan when asked on his battle with Tietjens.

"They are a great team and they have some good players.

"I can't remember when was the last time New Zealand beat Fiji without a Fijian in their side.

"(Waisake) Naholo played well in Las Vegas last week and it will be interesting to battle for the third time.

"Sports is about rivalry and it's what people will remember for a long time especially the rivalry between Fiji and New Zealand."

Ryan said he was looking forward to another fairytale outing at his favourite hunting ground.

He said he and the Fiji 7s team had some fond memories at the Cake Tin.

"I am looking forward to going to Wellington and playing on a nice fast pitch; both me and Fiji have had some success there in the past," he said.

"Last year I won in Wellington with England and we played New Zealand in our first game and we won.

"The pitch suits the way we play and releases a lot of pressure on our defence.

"The boys are so hungry to do themselves proud in Wellington

"I love going to Wellington and the tournament is run brilliantly by New Zealand rugby," he added.

Meanwhile, the side had a crossfit session yesterday and will play against a local side today.

Fiji is pooled with New Zealand, France and Spain.

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