Courage and commitment

FIJI 7s players displayed courage and commitment to fight until the last minute like true warriors to pull a 24-19 win over South Africa in extra time of the 2018 Commonwealth Games semi-final at the Robina Stadium in Brisbane, Australia yesterday.

The Gareth Baber-coached side fought hard not to give any room to South Africa’s Rosko Specman, Cecil Afrika, Justin Geduld and the danger man Branco Du Preez to move and score tries in the first half.

Fiji’s forward players Semi Kunatani, Paula Dranisinukula and Kalione Nasoko made number of gang tackles in the match with the support of backline players of Jerry Tuwai, Eroni Sau, Amenoni Nasilasila.

“We did what we set up to do against South Africa and they tried to pressurise us and that is what we did the same on them particularly attacked the breakdown quite hard,” Baber said.

“The boys also got some of the turnovers in the match while they were attacking and the ball popped up there were someone there to take the ball like Eroni Sau when he scored the first try. It is pretty much difficult for the opposition to catch him when he is on the go.

“I knew South Africa would have a period in the game and we made some errors in that and they forced those errors out of us and they came back into the match forcing the match to go into extra time.”

“I told the players that what happened in the match before does not have any relevance to this in the extra time. What happens in the next two minutes is completely up to your choice in decision making. I also told them that when we get the ball we have to look after it and we will get a penalty somewhere and we tap and score the try and that is what they did.

“You have got to be on that level and sometimes it can be very risky in giving away the penalties and it worked out for us.

“Amenoni scored a beautiful try which got us in the final. The South African players were off their feet on the floor and he got the chance to score the try.”

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