Fijian flair

Fijians in the NZ team Joe Ravouvou, Jone Nareki, Salesi Rayasi and Akuila Rokolisoa with their medals after New Zealand beat England to win the RWC 7s at the AT&T Park in San Francisco yesterday. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

IT takes one smart Fijian to beat another.

This what transpired in the Rugby World Cup Sevens semi-final when New Zealand flyer Jo Ravouvou left his trail at the AT&T Park in San Francisco in their 22-17 semi-final win over the Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team yesterday.

The Mavua, Nadroga, native said he had already mapped out a plan to contain the blockbusting combination of Josua Tuisova and Semi Radradra.

He said he was honoured to be given the opportunity to play against these star players and was happy that his plan worked out well. “I know it will be hard to stop Semi and Tuisova in full flight,” said Ravouvou.

“Before the game I told my centre to rush up our defence and to be on their faces before they run with the ball. We did just that by rushing up to them before they made their moves.

“We knew if they have space to run it will be difficult to stop them.” Ravouvou said their plan was to open the game up and it worked well. “We know they have big men and our plan was to open up the game and it paid off.”

He thanked his family in Nadroga for their support.

“This win is dedicated to all at home in Mavua and to all my supporters. It was tough playing my Fijian brothers as we knew each other well and are good friends off the pitch but once you wear your jersey its a different ball game altogether,” Ravouvou said.

The five Fijians in the winning NZ team include Ravouvou, Akuila Rokolisoa, Jone Nareki, Salesi Rayasi and 2013 Melrose Cup winner Tomasi Cama Jr as their assistant coach.

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