13 Dec 2014

Sport: Fiji team hope to close gap on rivals

11:30 am on 13 December 2014

Fiji coach Ben Ryan says this weekend's South Africa Sevens is a chance to tighten their grip on Olympic qualification and open up a healthy lead on their rivals.

Going into Port Elizabeth, Fiji are two points clear of South Africa at the top, despite a disappointing third-place finish in Dubai.

Ben Ryan says their defence needs some work but their attack is the best on the circuit and this weekend presents another opportunity.

"I think over the next couple of tournaments, after this weekend, you'll start to see a gap, certainly between first and second place probably [and the rest of the field]. As far as we're concerned we need to rack up as many series points as quickly as possible and if we can win this weekend we could put 20 points plus between ourselves and the [Olympic] qualification, so it's important this weekend."

Fiji take on France in tonight's opening match of the tournament before rounding out pool play against Canada and Scotland.

Meanwhile Samoa face another tough ask after missing out on the Cup quarter finals in Dubai.

They play World Series champions New Zealand first up followed by England and Japan.