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Brilliant Fijian comeback

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu
Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Against Samoa in the dying seconds when Nasoko pulled the game out of the fire, I knew that something special was planned for Fijian fans. Fans had some breathtaking moments when Samoa and NZ had possession only to be denied by a strong Fijian defence. The disappointment on the faces of the Samoans and All Blacks 7s said it all. They badly had wanted a win in Hamilton, especially the hosts being the most successful team in NZ, were shell-shocked in the battle of the warriors. The sweetest thing about Fiji's win in Hamilton was that Fiji beat South Africa, NZ and Australia, who had shared spoils from Dubai, Cape Town and Sydney. The singing of the national anthems aroused emotions in our boys.

Our discipline, I thought, was the telling factor when Josua was yellow-carded, but the way in which we bounced back was a test of character. A little bit of luck and lack of concentration on our part allowed the Boks two tries and at half-time we trailed.

However, Baber rallied our troops with a challenging message - get hold of the ball and score a try and that is exactly what Fiji did. We won the restarts and our boys were aggressive at breakdowns, resulting in turnover and penalties. Our forwards had a huge influence in the win.

When Sau bulldozed his way past defenders, the writing was clear - a freakish Fijian outfit, laced with unbelievable skills and flair, had pulled off a scintillating and incredible comeback to stun South Africa and win the epic Hamilton cup final. Hats off to our boys and Baber for rising to the occasion, burying the disappointment in Sydney and becoming the fourth team to win the Cup final in NZ! Serevi, Satala, Fero, Vunibaka, Delasau, Tuikabe and Seta went into history books for giving Fiji the inaugural Wellington 7s title. 18 years later, a young Fijian side in Jerry, Sau, Naduva, Mesu, Nasoko, Paula, Josua, Nasilasila, Vatemo and Jasa made headlines by winning the inaugural Hamilton tournament.

The night was made bright with sparkles from the fireworks and the fact that Fiji's win had brought together people of all races. We joined hands to cheer our side. It was beauty at its best! Vinaka vakalevu and wananavu!

Finally, thank you Maikeli Seru and our number one The Fiji Times for the delicious stories from Hamilton!

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