Fiji U16 seventh in Australian tournament

Members of the Fiji U16 rugby squad take a 'selfie' after arriving at the FRU office in Suva. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

THE Fiji under-16 rugby team arrived home yesterday after being placed seventh at the Australian Junior State Championship.

The under-16 returned with a record of one win one loss and one draw, a step up from last year’s tournament where they managed one victory and two losses.

Coach Masi Saqanavere commended his players for a good outing although they were marred by injuries.

“We came hard into the first game against New South Wales, but we lost our form in the second match against Queensland because of injuries which ruled out our core players,” Saqanavere said.

“On our overall performance a gradual improvement in the basic skills especially in the maintenance of the ball.”

Although finishing in seventh place Saqanavere was adamant the players held their own against teams with more game time.

“In the Deans competition you play six games, nine if you reach the finals. And we were playing teams that have players who have played 90-100 games total.”

Australian and New Zealand schools rugby allows students to play in both the school team as well as a state club which both run competitions alongside each other.

“The players in the other teams were bigger and faster than us but I thank the players they never gave up until the final whistle,” Saqanavere said.

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