23 May 2016

Sport: Pacific players make 7s Series Dream Team as Fiji, Scotland celebrate

11:59 am on 23 May 2016

Dougie Fife scored two tries in the final two minutes as the Scots rallied from 21-10 behind to stun South Africa in the final.

Scotland win the London Sevens.

Scotland win the London Sevens. Photo: World Rugby / Martin Seras Lima

It was a disappointing end for the Pacific teams in the final leg.

Fiji finished fourth after back to back losses against South Africa and the USA.

Ben Ryan's side had already lost to England on day one at Twickenham but, with their World Series title defence already in the bag, were beaten 26-21 by the Blitzboks and 26-19 by the USA.

Fiji celebrate back to back World Series titles.

Fiji celebrate back to back World Series titles. Photo: World Rugby / Martin Series Lima

The most talked about man of the weekend, Jarryd Hayne, managed just over 15 minutes of on-field action across Fiji's six matches.

The 28-year-old admitted he had a long way to go in his quest to make the squad for the Rio Olympics.

"At the moment, I'm behind the eight ball and I've got no problem with that. It's about working hard and getting there," Hayne said.

"They're the world champs. Sometimes in life, it's not about success, but it's about the experience and just being part of that team. (It's the) first Fijian team to win back-to-back titles and they've got a bunch of superstars who are going to be a joy to train with and a joy to play with," he said.

"It's not about coming over and making the team, it's about giving me an opportunity to make a team."

Hayne now faces six weeks of intense training in Fiji to prove to coach Ben Ryan that he's worth taking a punt on and good enough to displace one of the team's established stars.

"Our cupboard is not just deep, it's absolutely littered with fantastic talent," Ryan said.

Jasa Veremalua was selected in the World Series Dream Team.

Jasa Veremalua was selected in the World Series Dream Team. Photo: World Rugby / Martin Series Lima

"We had a very light week this week...when we're running up 100-metre sand dunes, when these guys are the fittest rugby players Fiji has ever had and they're still throwing up after sessions, his lactate's going to be going into overdrive. Whether he'll be able to tolerate that in a short timeframe is a serious question."

Ben Ryan also praised his players for defending their World Series title.

"This isn't just a random side, this is the best side in the world in the last two years. A Fijian side that plays a very high-tempo, high-risk game that requires enormous amounts of skill and he has that, and enormous amounts of fitness, and he hasn't got that at the moment."

Fiji finished 10 points clear of South Africa in the overall standings, while Samoa were ninth.

A week after their stunning victory in Paris, the Manu managed just one win in five matches.

Damian McGrath's side finished bottom of their pool on day one and, after holding off Russia 22-17 in the bowl quarter finals, were beaten 22-21 by Australia in the semi finals.

"A lot of teams were leg-weary and I found it hard to get up. We were emotionally and physically drained I think from the week before. I didn't realise just how much it had taken out of us until we started playing. Three of the defeats we had were by the odd point - one score. We were the architects of our own downfall in those games - we could and should have done much better. The plus-side for me was that we took a gamble and played with them and they didn't make them any worse so we're going home with an almost fully-fit squuad. which is a big plus considering our bigger prize is a few weeks away."

Meanwhile three Pacific players were included in the overall World Sevens Series Dream Team.

Fiji captain Osea Kolinisau and teammate Jasa Veremalua were named joined by Samoa skipper Faalemiga Selesele, South African duo Kwagga Smith and Seabelo Senatla, Perry Baker from the USA and Fiji-born French flyer Virimi Vakatawa.

Samoa sevens captain Faalemiga Selesele.

Samoa sevens captain Faalemiga Selesele. Photo: World Rugby / Martin Seras Lima

Samoa coach Damian McGrath says Selesele's selection is richly deserved.

"With players like that why shouldn't we be confident (about qualifying for Rio next nonth)? They've worked hard...The Fiji team they beat in the final last week was Fiji's all-star team - it was theirbest of the best - so id we can beat teams like that why should we be worried if we can't get some of our bih fifteens stars in there? These boys have proved they can match it with the best."

Fiji's Jasa Veremalua also won the Impact Player of the year award.