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Fijians fired-up

Rodney Duthie In Wellington, Nz
Tuesday, February 04, 2014

NEW Zealand's veteran rugby commentator Keith Quinn expects a fired-up Fiji side to bounce back during the Wellington 7s this weekend.

Fiji bombed out of the cup play-offs during the Las Vegas 7s last week and played in the bowl competition for only the second time in the HSBC Sevens World Series.

Ben Ryan and his troops take on New Zealand in their first pool match on Friday â€" a match which is normally played in the final in past years.

"I'm disappointed that it's the first game of the tournament for the two teams. I think the entrepreneurs around the tournament should have made it the last game on day one," Quinn said.

"It's so much a fantastic game of traditional, rivalry, expertise and commitment that it should be the highlight of the first day.

"But I still expect it to be like every other Fiji-NZ sevens match where the very best is brought out by both teams."

Gordon Tietjens and his men will also be reeling after losing to series leaders South Africa in Las Vegas. And who could forget the semi-final exit to Kenya in Wellington last year.

Quinn believes the home crowd will only help New Zealand to a certain extent.

New Zealand has already been beaten here in Wellington on a number of occasions. I don't think this is the strongest New Zealand side that they've had in recent years," he said.

"If there's a chance it might well be right here for Fiji because they're playing at a close proximity to home as well."

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