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7s plot fails

Josefa Makaba In Sydney, Australia
Monday, January 29, 2018

NEW ZEALAND thrashed the Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team 31-7 in a one-sided fifth place final of the 2018 Sydney 7s at the Allianz Stadium in Sydney last night.

It was a disappointing finish to Fiji's campaign where the Gareth Baber-coached side could only manage to score a try in reply to five from the Kiwis.

The team didn't settle down from the first whistle and allowed New Zealand to dominate the game.

Baber summed it up, saying they were not good enough.

"The game didn't stand up to the test and the players and coaching staff got to take it on the chin," he said. "We didn't have the energy and the intelligence to stand up against New Zealand and it is very disappointing."

Baber said the inclusion of new players in the squad must not be blamed for the loss, adding that these new players must be given time to experience playing in big tournaments. .

"These boys must be given time to get it done, it takes a number of tournaments to play to get to that level" he said. "I know we expect a lot in Fiji, but these are professional athletes you're up against, so for the boys coming in it is a tough task.

"They will get there, they will keep working."

Looking ahead to Hamilton next week, Baber said they would have to improve.

"We got to pick ourselves up and see how we can get better," he said.

Meanwhile, Australia claimed the title on its home turf, defeating South Africa 29-0.

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