DIGICEL Fiji sevens skipper Setefano Cakau hailed the performance of his teammates despite being crushed out of the Cup quarter-finals in Japan.
The strong running Namosi man is happy to return home with a silverware in the bag. Fiji settled for the plate after defeating South Africa 14-10 to earn crucial points at the Tokyo 7s tournament in Japan. The national side is behind leaders New Zealand in the International Rugby Board HSBC Sevens World Series table with 122 points. New Zealand extended its lead to six points from Fiji.
South Africa has 105 points, England 104, Samoa 101 and Japan champions Australia 84 points. Cakau said it was crucial for them to scoop the plate final to maintain the pressure on leaders New Zealand.
"Yes we won in Hong Kong and even though we lost in the cup quarterfinal here in Japan, we still have something to take back home from Tokyo," Cakau told irb.com. He added the mission was to scoop a double in Japan. Cakau said South Africa took the Fijians to the wire. "I know we never achieved our aim this week but we have the plate and I thank the boys for their hard performance," Cakau said.
"It was tough game against South Africa but we are happy to have gained some points and maintain a close margin with New Zealand." Cakau said.
Waisea Nayacalevu and Nikola Matawalu crossed the whitewash for Fiji during the plate final. The Alifereti Dere-coached side will need to win the Scotland and London tournaments and hope that New Zealand fails to reach at least one cup final to have a chance of winning the IRB series.
Fiji is drawn in Pool C with Argentina, Portugal and Zimbabwe in Scotland. Australia is the top seed and is favourite in Pool A along with England United States and Kenya. New Zealand is drawn in Pool B with Samoa, France and Spain while Wales, South Africa, Russia and Scotland will tussle in Pool D.
The Scotland tournament is scheduled on May 5-6 followed by the London Sevens the week after.