HSBC Sydney 7s Pool C: Fijiana hoping to ‘Bounce Back’ in 2018

HSBC Sydney 7s Pool C: Fijiana hoping to 'Bounce Back' quickly in 2018

Fijiana will be hoping to ‘bounce back’ quickly after a less than perfect start to the HSBC Womens Sevens Series. They will be matched against Russia, Ireland and last years winners Canada, in the HSBC Sydney 7s Pool C group.

It is the second round of the World Series, where 12 teams will compete against each other at the Allianz Stadium complex in Sydney, from January 26-27.

Pool C will see plenty of action, while Pool A has series leaders and hosts Australia along with France, Spain and the invitational side Papua New Guinea. United States lead Pool B with New Zealand, England and Japan – all looking to begin the New Year in the first tournament since December.

Fijiana looking to ‘Bounce Back’ in Pool C

Fijiana Head Coach Iliesa Tanivula has wasted no time in rectifying what went wrong in Dubai. He has also made wholesome changes to the side opting for speed rather than power.

Lanky Miriama Naiobasali makes a return to partner Litia Naiqato and Rusila Naqasau upfront. Ana Maria Roqica leads the side again, with Viniana Riwau, rover Lavenia Tinai and speedy Tima Ravisa making up the backline.

A good outing in Sydney will lay the foundation for their Commonwealth Games aspirations. Defence and keeping the ball will be key areas to work on. They have the arsenal….. just needs to perfect the execution.

Fijiana squad

Litia Naiqato, Rusila Nagasau, Vilisi Vakaloloma, Naina Baleca, Ana Roqica, Timaima Ravisa, Miriama Naiobasali, Ana Naimasi, Lavenia Tinai, Asinate Savu, Viniana Riwai, Alowesi Nakoci

Canada Look to retain 2017 title

Britt Benn was the toast of the Canadian side last year, when they won in Sydney. Ironically, the two Oceania giants were both bundled out in the semifinals. Allowing the two North American sides to meet in the final, with the Canadian women overpowering Team USA.

So the emphasis is on both ‘a new plan’ but also to replicate the process and attitude from 12 months ago. A hard-task, as players change and the opposition will have ultimately improved too.

Young Tausani Levave is back in the team, so keep an eye on her. Olivia Apps is their new starlet, with old work horses of Jen Kish and Ghislaine Landry always ready to ‘surprise’ lazy defence.

Russian Roulette ready to roll

The Russians will be trying to build from their bronze medal win in Dubai.They overcame the Canadians in that Bronze medal playoff and will try to continue that form.

DHL Performance Tracker leader Alena Mikhaltsova will again lead her side’s campaign. Baizat Khamidova together with Elena Zdrokova add depth and dimension. Using the flanks always works for the Bears where Kristina Seredina will be utilized.

Irish continue to Improve in Sevens Series

The Irish continue to impress, with the quality core-squad they have kept over the past three season. Their ‘Captain Courageous’ leads the side, with Amee-Leigh Murphy-Crowe who has grown into her wing role.

Ashleigh Baxter, together with Louise Galvin and Stacey Flood bring flair to the team. They will be unpredictable and can surprise many. The battle against Fijiana especially, will determine each sides progress in the HSBC Sydney 7s Pool C battle.

Who will reign in Pool C?

For many, this will be the Pool to watch in the tourney, as things can go either way. Russia and Canada can run riot but, Fijiana and Ireland must turn up the heat if they wish to improve on Round One results.

The Fijians really want this Oceania round to be a positive. To ‘bounce back’ and to get their campaign back on track. Plenty of local support will assist them, as well as the men’s team (who also will want to shine under the sun in Sydney).

In closing, the Fiji girls; together with Russia and Canada, can all go through to the Cup quarterfinals. Then the heat is really going to reach boiling point!


Follow all the action of the HSBC Sydney 7s Pool C, Pool A and Pool B of the women’s tournament, with daily updates and coverage on our Facebook page across the entire weekend.

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