6 Feb 2016

Sport:Fiji and Samoa ready for Sydney Sevens

11:05 am on 6 February 2016

The Fiji sevens teams have a point to prove in Sydney this weekend after relinquishing top spot in the World Series standings.

Fiji celebrate during their opening demolition of Japan at the Wellington Sevens, Saturday, 30 January, 2016. Copyright photo: John Cowpland / www.photosport.nz

Fiji celebrate during their opening demolition of Japan at the Wellington Sevens Photo: Photosport

Head coach Ben Ryan described their 31-0 semi final defeat to South Africa in Wellington last weekend as possibly their worst defeat during his three years in charge.

They have a chance to make amends in Australia, where they've won a record five titles, including three in the past four years.

Fiji wants to keep that run going acorrding Ben Ryan.

"The boys want to defend the Australian leg of the World Series - we are holders, whether it's in a different city or not. We're going into a second week where we've got a point to prove. We've played 18 games now in the World Series and we've won 16 of them so our record is pretty good but what sticks in my mind - and probably everybody else's mind - is that loss to South Africa so let's get back on the horse."

And it doesn't get any easier for Samoa at the latest World Sevens Series.

The Manu finished bottom of their group in Wellington last week and will again face three teams ranked above them in the overall standings.

France have beaten them in the past two legs in Cape Town and Wellington, while Argentina and Fiji have both contested Cup finals this season.

Samoa finished the Wellington tournament on a four-game winning run, a streak coach Damian McGrath admits will be hard to maintain.

"There's no easy games in sevens so we've just have to crack on and again we've got to hope for that quarter final spot. As disappointed as we might be with the draw I'm sure Argentina, France and Fiji aren't too pleased in facing us. We've knocked England over, we've almost knocked USA over - we can mix it with the best - so we're confident of giving them a game."

First up for Samoa is the Pacific derby against Fiji in the opening game of the tournament.

Samoa men's sevens coach Damian McGrath.

Samoa men's sevens coach Damian McGrath. Photo: RNZI / Vinnie Wylie