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Tanivula: More 7s

Zanzeer Singh
Thursday, February 08, 2018

THE lack of quality game time is the biggest drawback facing the Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s side in their quest to move up the ladder in the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series.

The Iliesa Tanivula-coached Fijiana is in 10th position following the Dubai and Sydney 7s.

The side extended its stay in Australia last weekend to participate in the Tribe 7s. Fijiana went down 24-10 to the Classy Australia in the final in Brisbane.

Tanivula, a former New Zealand 7s rep, said there was a big difference in the number of tournaments organised for the men and women in the country.

He said plans were in the pipeline to introduce a structured women's rugby competition like the Skipper Cup.

"The biggest down fall is the lack of women's competition," Tanivula said.

"When we take these girls away overseas, those remaining here don't get any exposure because there are no tournaments.

"They need to keep on playing. When they get to the world series they come against situations which are something new for them. We have got something in the pipeline to get the women involved during the Skipper Cup.

"They need the game time. Compared with the men, they have 7s tournaments from January through to December so you can easily pick two men's teams to go to the world series. That's the situation. We have to play more games.

"Right now we have tournaments like the Coral Coast, Marist and Nawaka which have women's competition. Thanks to those guys but we need more.

"You can train as hard as you can but if you don't have the match fitness than you cannot perform at the highest level."

Fiji will participate in the Commonwealth Games in Australia from April 13-15 followed by the Kitakyushu 7s from April 21-22 which is the next stop in the series.

Tanivula said it was sort of redemption to play in the Tribe 7s.

"We needed that exposure and it was new for the girls to play another tournament in a second week," he said.

"Before it used to be one tournament and return home. It was a challenge for all of us, for the players and me as coach. I thought they did well to get that far and play Australia in the final last weekend.

"We played in Brisbane and they had state teams Queensland One, Queensland Two and university teams.

"Those girls are knocking on the Australian team door. If we can have more teams playing in Fiji then it will be good for the game.

"Thanks to the Fiji Rugby Union board for allowing us another week in Australia. The cost was more but it gave us more game time. There were lot positives especially with the fitness level. We have to be accurate with what we do on the field.

"During both losses in the pool games in Sydney, we were winning but lost it in the last minute. That is a challenge for us to play the full 14 minutes. We have a few weeks of training ahead of the Commonwealth Games."








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