11 Feb 2014

Sport: Fiji taking plenty of positives out of Wellington 7s

12:03 pm on 11 February 2014

Fiji sevens coach Ben Ryan is taking of plenty of heart from their third place finish at the Wellington Sevens.

The Pacific Islanders scored in extra time to beat England 14-7 in the third place playoff, having been knocked out of title contention by South Africa in the Cup semi finals.

The team had faces a disruptive build-up off the field in recent weeks and the financial problems at FRU headquarters meant players had not been paid since winning the Dubai tournament in November.

Ben Ryan says considering their preparation and injuries to key players, including skipper Osea Kolinisau, it was an admirable result.

"12 months ago you were losing in the Bowl final here in Wellington. We've lost one game here to the number one team in the world and we've beaten the number two team in the world and we've beaten the number four team in the world. We've all got high aspirations but have a little think, remind yourselves of the sort of preparation that we've had the last few months and how far this lot are going and how far they will go. I'm disappointed that we didn't win the trophy but I'm also very proud of their efforts in the last game".

Meanwhile Ryan is hoping for smoother sailing in the lead-in to Japan and Hong Kong, following the last week's announcement from the FRU that of a major sponsorship deal with Vodafone.

Fiji remain third in the overall standings, behind New Zealand and South Africa.