‘Brave and bold’

NATIONAL Vodafone Fiji 7s coach Gareth Baber said his troops were brave and bold despite losing to South Africa 31-12 in their last pool game at the Wellington 7s yesterday.

Unbeaten after the first two games, the Fijians were stretched by a fast and powerful Blitzbokke outfit.

He said the yellow card to playmaker Vatemo Ravouvou really summed up the game. He was also quick to praise the team for scoring two wonderful tries.

“We put ourselves under pressure in the first three minutes,” said Baber. “We went down to six men and teams like South Africa look for opportunities all day. I think with the yellow card on our line, they scored three tries, that was the game really.

“But what was pleasing was that we did show character and the skills to get us back in the game.”

Baber said it was tough for any team to bounce back against a good team like South Africa and saluted his men for the hard-fought battle.

“It is hard in this situation to be brave and bold but we were,” he said. “That is the way we played, we even went accurate when the game went on, but the bounce of the ball and one score down we turned over the ball, we could have scored, but on the other hand that is the nature of the game.

“South Africa was on the top of their game.”

Baber said the boys had learnt from their mistakes and would be out to make amends in the do or die quarter-final.

“We are still in the Cup competition.

“As we have said, there are some elements of the game we need to get right tomorrow (today).

“We were good today (yesterday), we did a few wrong things against Australia and then a tough and physical confrontation against South Africa.

“I think we did good when you look at the tries we scored, the bounce of the ball and the turnovers. I am pleased with the way we are going.”

South Africa scored the first three tries before Fiji hit back with a try to Jerry Tuwai.

Joeli Lutumailagi scored Fiji’s second try before South Africa scored two more tries to seal the game.

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