NEWS
NEWS
Fiji - the biggest attraction in the shortened game Underline 25 May, 2011
(L-R) Watisoni Votu, Setefano Cakau and Digicel Fiji 7s coach Jo Savou.
Fiji wanted to entertain while winning, South Africa just wanted to win; reverting to a 7s form of 15-a-side. In the second half of the London 7s final, they chose to use a six man maul, 'Pick and Go', and a five man line-out. Not pretty, but it worked, shutting down the Fijian attacking machine that had destroyed N.Z. in the semis. Once they had the ball, they - South Africa - made sure they were going to keep it.

The Digicel's 7s team started the weekend in London , on Saturday, in a pool that included Portugal, Russia and S.A. Warm, sunny skies and a crowd of over 50, 000. The new look Joe Savou squad started as they were to continue. Two tries within two minutes against a bemused Portuguese team chasing shadows. Every game they played was the same; running rugby, switch passes just a pleasure to watch.

Of the 110 minutes of rugby they played, Fiji held the lead from the kick-off for 95 minutes. Only the last nine minutes of the final, stopped the free-flowing 7s that they put-on. The crowd loved it, including some 200-300 Islanders who had come from every part of England to cheer 'Go Fiji Go'.

Three wins out of three in the group stages set up a quarter-final clash against Samoa, who were seen off 26-14, Metuisela Talebula controlling the game-plan and dictating play as he did for much of the weekend. The semis saw the All Blacks blown away by a nearly perfect display of attacking 7s one could ever hope to see. The result, 42-19, was only distorted by two late tries conceded by Fiji in the last minute.

And then the final - a repeat of Las Vegas.

Two early converted tries from Watisoni Votu and Livai Ikanikoda had the crowd roaring. 14-0 Fiji. A converted S.A. try saw a half-time score of 14-12 with the South Sea Islanders still in the ascendancy.

Fiji and almost everyone else still believed it could be won, but two things altered events. An early Boks try made it 17-14. Then a switch-pass into the middle, from an attacking move in the S.A. half when there was space on the wing. The move was stopped, a possible try gone. The Boks won a penalty, and from the bench came the instruction to shut down the game. Touch - five man lineout; ball won - six man rolling maul. The crowd whistled their discontent. 7s had become 15s. Joe Savou’s young guns did not know what to do. The final was lost though even media articles the next day were scathing about South Africa’s performance in the final.

So a disappointing end to what was otherwise a great advert for Fijian rugby. Nevertheless the 100,000 spectators who saw the men in 'Black and White' play, went away knowing why they are the biggest attraction in the shortened game. 

Moce.

Marc@rugbymarc
Other May 2011 News Underline
SA claim Edinburgh 7s as Fiji takes home the plate 30 May, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 11 Results 29 May, 2011 
Sale's Sevens Diary - Keeping focus 29 May, 2011 
Stallions stampede over Northland 33-3 28 May, 2011 
Sale's Sevens Diary - Murrayfield 27 May, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 11 Team Lists 27 May, 2011 
Satala's Unit wishes him well 26 May, 2011 
Lee Smith's Coaching Corner: The Development of Attacking Play (Part 4) 26 May, 2011 
Caucau to focus on personal life 26 May, 2011 
Sale's Sevens Diary - Edinburgh Castle 26 May, 2011 
Naqelevuki loving time at Chiefs 25 May, 2011 
Fiji - the biggest attraction in the shortened game 25 May, 2011 
Sale's Sevens Diary - A perfectly executed game plan 25 May, 2011 
South Africa beat Fiji to win London 7s 23 May, 2011 
World record crowd attends London 7s 22 May, 2011 
England falters as Fiji, Aus and NZ remain unbeaten 22 May, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 10 Results 22 May, 2011 
Sale's Sevens Diary - Buckingham Palace 21 May, 2011 
Ravaga hat-trick as Lautoka crush Navosa 21 May, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 10 Team Lists 20 May, 2011 
Sale's Sevens Diary - Heroes for Life 20 May, 2011 
Sale's Sevens Diary - the Management Meeting 19 May, 2011 
Sevens Heaven 19 May, 2011 
Sale's Sevens Diary - 30 hours of travel 18 May, 2011 
Sale's Sevens Diary - At Incheon Airport enroute to London 17 May, 2011 
Fraser Talk: The Good Wolf 17 May, 2011 
Suva pace sinks Rewa 19-8 15 May, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 9 Results 15 May, 2011 
PM farewells Digicel Fiji 7s team 15 May, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 9 Team Lists 13 May, 2011 
Unified Fiji Primary School Kaji Rugby Union announces festival and venue dates 13 May, 2011 
Fijians help the British Army claim Inter-Services crown 12 May, 2011 
A place in the Play-offs 12 May, 2011 
Discipline improves in the Digicel Cup 11 May, 2011 
Regulation 10.1 Concussion 11 May, 2011 
Fiji Rugby's Kaji Rugby Skills Camp Report 11 May, 2011 
Revised IRB Pacific Nations Cup 2011 Schedule Announced 10 May, 2011 
Lee Smith's Coaching Corner: The Development of Attacking Play (Part 3) 10 May, 2011 
Lee Smith's Coaching Corner: Will We See More Mauling? 10 May, 2011 
Digicel Fiji 7s squad named for England and Scotland 10 May, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 8 Results 08 May, 2011 
2011 Digicel Cup Rd 8 Tables 08 May, 2011 
Nadroga earn bonus point 31-3 win over Nadi 07 May, 2011 
Ratuvou try helps Lyon's promotion fight 05 May, 2011 
Ngamoki-Cameron is PM's nominee to FRU Board 05 May, 2011 
Digicel Cup Rd 8 Team Lists 05 May, 2011 
Young Savou shines in Saracen colours 04 May, 2011 
Lee Smith's Coaching Corner: The Development of Attacking Play (Part 2) 02 May, 2011 
New FRU Board elected 01 May, 2011 
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