Duo ‘deserve’ spots

Fiji Airways Fiji 7s forward Isake "Eyes" Katonibau runs for the tryline during the pool game of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Hong Kong. Picture: RAMA

Fiji Airways Fiji 7s forward Isake "Eyes" Katonibau runs for the tryline during the pool game of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Hong Kong. Picture: RAMA

“THEY showed why they deserved to be in this team.”

Those were the comments of Fiji Airways Fiji 7s coach Gareth Baber when asked for his comments regarding his late inclusions for the Hong Kong 7s, Semi Kunatani and Isake Katonibau.

“They showed their experience in that game and this really lifted the performance of the team,” Baber said.

“As I’ve said all along we need their experience and leadership qualities and this has touched on to the other players in the team.

“Their presence in the team has lifted the players morale and we hope this will continue to boost the team as we go along in the competition,” Baber said.

French-based Kunatani scored three tries while Katonibau scored two in the 36-14 win over Russia.

Katonibau played a leadership role with captain Jerry Tuwai on the bench, setting up his players with well-timed passes and worked well with his forwards during their throws in the llineouts.

Kunatani was starting to show why overseas sevens commentators named him the “the beast”. He was strong in defence and his hard running style was a problem for the opposition every time he had possession. In one of the tries he scored, Kunatani bumped his way through two Russian opponents to score a try in the corner.

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