Fiji were on a war path at the Dubai 7s last weekend. Of all the teams to face them on their road cup final, the All Blacks were the ones to be completely blown off the park. 44-0 will leave the Sevens All Blacks stinging perhaps more than any other team to lose in Round Two of the Sevens World Series. Fiji defeated South Africa 29-17 in the final to claim their first Dubai Sevens title since 1998.
The only challenge facing Fiji at this moment in time is whether they can maintain the zone they found in Dubai when they hit the field in Port Elizabeth for Round Three on Saturday, December 7th.
New Zealand still hold a slight lead in first place in the Rugby World Sevens standings thanks to solid outings before they hit the Fiji roadblock. However, South Africa will have a lot to play for on their home leg of the series with the passing of legendary activist and leader Nelson Mandela on December 5th.
A duel between some of the Southern Hemisphere’s best rugby talent took place on the other side of the world on Saturday, November 30th at Twickenam. Marking Fiji’s centenary of rugby, the match between the national representative side vs the invitational touring squad of Barbarians was an unusual spectacle for a crowd of over 60,000.
Fiji’s team was not at full strength, with key players held back, perhaps controversially, by their French and British clubs. An unfair price that many international Polynesian rugby teams — who lack economical and political clout — are facing. At half-time the game still looked on paper like it was within reach for the Fijians at 17-7. But in the end, the Barbarians team chosen to face them on the pitch was simply too powerful.
The BaaBaas delivered 7 tries for their fans to Fiji’s 3. A brace of tries each from Bismarck du Plessis and Jean de Villiers, and solo tries from Duane Vermeulen, Charles Piutau and Tom Taylor. Pat Lambie added 4 conversions.
For Fiji, tries came from Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Henry Seniloli and Alexander Rokobaro with conversions from Seremai Bai and Waisea Luveniyali.
Steve Hansen and Barbarian’s captain Jean de Villiers celebrated a triumphant night that capped off impressive international seasons for both.