LONDON, United Kingdom, May 22 – Fiji claimed back to back series titles under Ben Ryan, and only their third ever after reaching the Cup quarter-finals in London.
By reaching the Cup quarter-finals at the HSBC London Sevens, Fiji confirmed their status as the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series champions.
Despite losing to England in their opening match, victories over Wales and Australia ensured Ben Ryan’s men could not be caught at the top of the series standings to win a second successive, and only third ever, series title and guarantee top seeding heading into the Olympic Games in August.
“It’s the first team in Fijian sevens history to win back-to-back world titles,” said Ryan.
“We have had an up and down day, sevens can be like that. That performance against Australia was unbelievable and it was like last year against South Africa, our defence was just fantastic.”
I said to the boys those tackles weren’t just tackles, they were tackles from the heart. It was a brilliant 14 minutes of rugby from the boys,” he added.
Having won the opening round in Dubai, Fiji went on to win in Las Vegas and in Hong Kong, and despite falling short in the last two finals in Singapore (against Kenya) and in Paris (against Samoa) they still held a 14-point lead heading into the last round.
“It was a tough start for the boys in the first game against England, but I am happy and the boys are happy that we managed to finish our plan,” added Fiji captain Osea Kolinisau.
“We came into the series with a plan to defend it and we were just able to attack all series and attack today. Before the game against Australia, I had a chat with Ben as I was little bit anxious, but the boys delivered when it mattered most.
“That shows the character of the team. When it mattered most this season, the boys kept stepping up and it’s all down to teamwork throughout this year.”
Fiji failed to reach the Cup semi-finals on just one occasion, in Cape Town where they went on to win the Plate, and reached five of the finals before London.
The question now will be can they go on to win the Cup title in London, which they failed to do when securing the series title 12 months ago.