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Defence vital as Gareth's men beat Wales

Maikeli Seru In Hamilton, New Zealand
Sunday, February 04, 2018

THE Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team's 28-0 win against Wales in its first pool match was a bonus, said coach Gareth Baber.

He said regrouping after the disappointment of Sydney last week and entering the Hamilton 7s with high expectation was a heavy burden for the players.

"We scored 28 points and we did not conceive any which was a massive bonus," Baber said after Fiji scored four tries for its first victory.

The first touchdown came from Eroni Sau in the second minute after he combined with skipper Jerry Tuwai for 7-0.

Two minutes later hooker Paula Dranisinukula dummied his way along the tramline for 20 metres to put Fiji 14-0 at the break.

Indiscipline crept in and Mesulame copped the first yellow card, and elusive Amenoni Nasilasila had a slight knock to be replaced in the second-half.

Olympian Jasa Veremalua also came in as a substitute and bulldozed his way through the Welsh defence to push Fiji further 21-0.

Baber took out Sevuloni Mocenacagi for Vasikali Mudu and it worked well resulting in Fiji's last try to win 28-0.

"All teams, when they come out in the first leg, will have one thing to be nervous about and it is fatigue and how they recover from injuries. We are pleased with the way we responded and the areas we targeted went well.

"Discipline happens to every team and it catches the boys underneath the stick.

"It happened last week." Baber meanwhile, was happy that Wales did not cross Fiji's 22-metre zone which showed stern defence.

"One of the pressures of the game is when you don't have the ball and the boys defended well.

"There are some good sides in the tournament and if we take anybody lightly, we are going to end in a loss."

Fiji team: 2. Josua Vakurinabili, 4. Paula Dranisinukula, 7. Mesulame Kunavula, 9. Jerry Tuwai (Cpt), 11. Eroni Sau, 12 Amenoni Nasilasila. Res: 1. Kaione Nasoko, 5. Vasikali Mudu, 6. Jasa Veremalua, 8. Vatemo Ravouvou, 10. Alusio Naduva.

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