No 7s gold
16 April, 2018, 12:00 am
THE shine of a Commonwealth Games sevens gold medal continues to elude Fijians for yet another four years following Fiji’s 14-0 loss to New Zealand in the final at Robina Stadium in Brisbane, Australia yesterday.
The Fijian players were disappointed with the loss and it was clearly shown on their faces as they received their silver medals.
The Gareth Baber coached-side was put under pressure by New Zealand from the first half and shut out Fiji captain Jerry Tuwai and playmaker Amenoni Nasilasila from creating havoc for the Kiwis.
Coach Baber while coming off the field was hugged by his children and wife for some time before he came out to the media zone.
“New Zealand started well into the game and they created a lot of energy in the game and we did not react too well to it,” Baber said.
“I am satisfied with all we have achieved in the last two weeks and in the Commonwealth Games and we knew it would be hard coming here from Hong Kong.
“Playing in the final of the Commonwealth Games shows how much the players have worked, but we fail to bring back home a gold medal.”
New Zealand scored their tries through Regan Ware and Etene Nanai-Seturo in the first half which were converted by Vilimoni Koroi.
The Jerry Tuwai-captained side tried its best to break the tough New Zealand defence with Paula Dranisinukula coming close to scoring a try, but he was pushed out to the touch line by the determined New Zealand players.
Fiji also struggled with possession which they needed to have to launch their attacks with New Zealand playing smart rugby by taking more time to play the ball from the scrums and line-outs.
Fiji was reduced to six players after Sevuloni Mocenacagi was yellow carded for going in hard on Sam Dickson.
Baber also got in Samisoni Viriviri in the final after a head injury to Semi Kunatani in the semi-final against South Africa.
“Kunatani had a head knock and he was not allowed to play,” he added.
“We will assess things out with the players and then decide for the next tournament in Singapore.
“It will be a big recovery for the players and we will fly to Singapore next Sunday.”
Meanwhile, New Zealand women’s rugby 7s team won the gold medal after beating hosts Australia 17-12 in the final.