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Young players prove doubters wrong in Hong Kong

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, March 30, 2009) – Digicel Fiji 7s coach Iliesa Tanivula was full of praise for his young guns after their Hong Kong 7s win last night saying that having to work hard at what was within their control, building on a strong team spirit and camaraderie amongst players was the key in their darkest moments.

"These young guys, they really did themselves proud and their families," Tanivula told IRB after his side broke a ten-year win-less jinx at the Mecca of 7s rugby when they beat an experienced South African side 26-24 in a pulsating finale.

Earlier in the day the Fijians disposed off a tough English side 10-12, then went on to rampage over Kenya 24-7 in their semi-final showdown.

Tanivula said his team faced a lot of criticism and was discredited by Fijians at home and many abroad, but added that the negative vibes was one that made them unite as a team and work hard at bagging the win.

"We came across with just two guys in that team having already played here in Hong Kong, the rest were a make up of young and inexperienced players."

"We were written off before we left and I think that just motivated us more to come out and the guys did it.

Credit to them, I couldn't have asked for more." he said

Tanivula said the game plan against South Africa was to pile points when they had possession and try and seal off any opportunities that may have led to tries from the South Africans with some strong defensive plays.

"The plan was to pile on the points early on and put pressure on them to catch us up and it worked.

They came back and just missed that last kick, but we'll take the 30 points." he said

Tanivula dedicated the win to fans and followers of rugby back here at home adding that it is his and the team's hopes that the win was one that would bring back smiles to the faces off everyone back at home.

"There have been some problems back home and this is probably one of the things that gets us together as a nation and I'm sure they're celebrating now."

The Fijians arrive back from Hong Kong later today to prepare for the Adelaide 7s this weekend.


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