Fiji Time: 11:33 PM on Sunday 26 April

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Fiji through

Emoni Narawa
Sunday, March 23, 2014

THE silky performance of lanky forward Pio Tuwai proved to be the X-factor for the Vodafone Fiji sevens team as they secured a place in Cup quarter-finals of the Tokyo 7s in Japan last night.

Tuwai's uncanny skills in slow motion mode was sharp as a razor, which enabled him to split through the opposition defence and create scoring opportunities during Fiji's pool matches against France, the USA and Samoa.

The lanky Ba man's unpredictable attacking moves were a thorn in the opposition defence. Tuwai played like a playmaker among the forwards and sparked Fiji's attacks whenever in possession.

Red Rock 7s coach Lote Rasiga said Tuwai's skills were his striking weapon.

"Pio (Tuwai) is very skilful and we can see the opportunities he created especially in the game against Samoa," he said.

"He is playing very well at the moment and I believe there is more to be seen from him tomorrow (today) during the quarter-finals."

His experience and skills will be vital for the national side as they progress through to the Cup quarter-finals today.

Fiji escaped defeats against France and the United States in the opening two matches and demolished Pacific rivals Samoa 33-7 in its final pool game last night.

Veteran Setefano Cakau scored a screamer to help Fiji escape the jaws of defeat in its opening match against France. Cakau beat fellow Fijian Vereimi Vakatawa who played his first game for France in the 22-19 victory after trailing by two points at the sound of the hooter.

Fiji managed to hold on to a 19-all draw against USA in the second game. Rasiga said Fiji needed to be focused throughout the 14-minute period.

"We scored a last minute try against France and drew against USA. We cannot afford to lose concentration even if we're leading.

"In our first two games we lack concentration in the later stages which allowed France and USA to bounce back. We cannot afford to do that in the quarter-finals. We need to focus," Rasiga said.

Fiji's opponent in the quarters will be either South Africa or Kenya.

Meanwhile other top guns like New Zealand, South Africa and England have also booked their quarter-finals spots.





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