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Fiji Time: 2:22 PM on Thursday 21 August

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Kolinisau calls on team to step up

Zanzeer Singh
Thursday, May 15, 2014

FIJI 7s captain Osea Kolinisau expects the team to step up in the next HSBC Sevens World Series which serves as the automatic qualifiers for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

With the top four teams getting automatic qualification, Kolinisau said coach Ben Ryan has had a positive influence on the players.

"It has been a successful season for us taking into account that it was Ben's first year," he said.

"It has been a long while for a Fijian to claim the top try scorer award and the first for the player of the year.

"On the stats, we have come up second to New Zealand. We lost ten games while New Zealand lost six games. But we scored the most points.

"In the semi-finals we did not take our chances against New Zealand. We had the opportunity to win the game but could not finish it off. With a team like New Zealand you have to take advantage of all the opportunities that come your way."

The players have been given a break for recovery and family time. For the national selectors and Ryan, the search will begin shortly for a capable replacement for flyer Samisoni Viriviri who joins Montpellier in France.

"It was unfortunate that we were relegated to the bowl competition in Las Vegas and lost ground," Kolinisau said.

"Fiji has been competing with New Zealand well. For next season, we want to play against every team like we face New Zealand, being mentally focussed and prepared for the game.

"We are sad that Sami is going and are truly going to miss him and there is going to be a gap. It will be a challenge for the new person to live up to Sami's standards but we are really happy for his new career at Montpellier.

"You never know when a new rugby star is going to appear. That's the beauty of Fiji rugby, because there is abundance of talent.

"For the time being we have been told to rest. There is a break for one and half months. Next season is very important being the qualifiers for the Olympic Games.

"Ben has had a positive influence on the players. It shows that when the players like the coach, they play well on the field," he said.


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