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Fijians dominate NZ

Rodney Duthie In Wellington
Saturday, February 08, 2014

IT was a game that lived up to its billing and worthy of a final.

It was like any other Fiji-New Zealand match that had brought out power, pace and the best of sevens rugby.

And this time Fiji came out victorious 12-7 in their third encounter of the 2013-14 HSBC Sevens World Series - making it two up for Ben Ryan and his boys after the 44-0 thumping in Dubai.

"Everyone back at home was talking about the New Zealand game and rightly so, it was a mouth-watering one," Ryan said.

"It was a hard game and it didn't help having a wet ball. A couple of our offloads we dropped but we played smart particularly when we were down to six men and we took advantage when New Zealand was down to six."

Like their previous encounter in Las Vegas which New Zealand won 12-5, the match had a low score but there were plenty of fireworks on the field.

Fiji ran in two tries — the first to the ever-improving Emosi Mulevoro in the first half before Samisoni Viriviri, who was sin-binned, cancelled out Sherwin Stowers' only try for the tournament hosts.

Scott Curry was also sin-binned for pulling Benito Masilevu back without the ball.

Ryan said the players executed a plan to shut New Zealand out of the game.

Sevens master tactician Gordon Tietjens said while the weather played its part in the match, his players failed to take their opportunities.

"We prepared very well for that game and we were really disappointed when the showers came before that game. It came down to one defining moment and we got to put that behind us," Tietjens said.

"In these conditions we needed to be a bit more patient. We had our opportunities and we didn't take them."

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