Lion City expects rugby physical battles

EXPECT some physical battles at the Singapore Sevens this weekend as defending champions Kenya face all sorts of challenge from headhunters in the sevens business.

The African country better known for producing marathon runners and Olympic champions because of its high altitude, last year won a tournament for the first time defeating Fiji 30-7 at the Singapore Sevens.

Kenya got off to a blistering 20-0 start in the final with superstar Collins Injera recording two tries in the process and Fiji were nursing injuries from a gruelling victory at the Hong Kong Sevens. Now that the Vodafone Fiji Sevens team are on a high after another HK victory, they have vowed to increase the physicality in Singapore.

Aggressive defence has always been one of Fiji’s main strike weapon and that was how they contained the Aussies and South Africans last weekend.

Another component of aggressive defence, Paula, has been flown over as replacement. The Army openside flanker fared well in last year’s Sukuna Bowl challenge and had proven himself in local sevens competition.

First Light’s Lemeki Tulele and Josua Vici add freshness to the firepower of the already formidable Fijian side.

The absence of playmaker Vatemo Ravouvou will keep the opposition guessing as he dictated most of Fiji’s play last weekend.

Then we already have three potential playmakers Amenoni Nasilasila, Waisea Nacuqu and Alivereti Veitokani staking their claims on the position. Including Tulele, they all have different styles of play to break defensive lines.

The Kenyans have had a rollercoaster ride in the sevens competition and they have been more of entertainers and are yet to be consistent in their performances. When they first took part they were just speedsters but they have since worked on their strength and conditioning and are one of the most physical sides to play against because of their upper body mass.

New Zealand, England, Australia and South Africa are all trying to prove themselves in Singapore, while South Africa want to restore the order as their poster said in Hong Kong and which quickly disappeared after Fiji won. They are series leaders and they want to remain just that while Gareth Baber and his men believe nothing is impossible. Go Fiji go!

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