Lot of lessons learnt: Fuli

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Fiji Airways Fijiana’s Aloesi Nakoci on attack against New Zealand Black Ferns in their opening match of the Mini 7s tournament at Albert Park in Suva on Friday, Sep 22 , 2023. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Despite the Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s side loss in its first match of the Mini International Women’s 7s yesterday, head coach Saiasi Fuli said a lot of lessons were learnt in playing against one of the best teams in the world.

The Fijiana side succumbed to a 22-5 loss to the New Zealand Black Ferns at Albert Park in the competition opener in Suva yesterday.

The competition, which concludes today before its second leg in Lautoka next weekend, features some of best teams in the World Rugby Series.

This includes New Zealand, France, Fiji, and Australia.

“We just started with our preparations and training sessions two weeks ago, and it is good that our first game here today was against New Zealand, who is probably the best team in the world right now,” he said.

However, they were able to make a comeback and win their second match against France, 29-7.

“We learned a lot today, especially for all our young players, they were able to have a feel of what highly competitive matches are like.”

He mentioned coming from a two-and-a-half month break from the field, this competition was a good platform for players to get back on track before any international competitions. “Coming back from a two-and-a-half month break, this is a good platform for us to play rugby.”

From here, Fuli will be selecting two sides to compete at the Pacific Games and the Oceania 7s, which is also the 2024 Olympics Qualifier.

With a handful of new players in Fuli’s squad, he was able to test and rotate players on the field where he then gauged the performance of his players.

In the second match of the tournament, France managed to beat Australia 28-12.