New Zealand Women’s 7s Captain Sarah Hirini says Fijiana 7s always put them under huge pressure.
Despite beating the hosts 29-7 in the opening match of the Mini International 7s Tournament in Suva today, Hirini said it was good to take the field after a while.
The two nations last faced off in the Toulouse 7s in France.
“We know Fijiana players are always tough and sometimes we don’t even want to play them in the knockout stage of tournament let alone some friendly games.”
“We were expecting everything and anything. The way they play is exciting, free, structured and they put us under a lot of pressure.”
“We just hope that everyone in the team is going to take this opportunity. We can feel the passion that people have for rugby here. We have a friendly rivalry against our Fijiana sisters and playing them here in their home country in front of their fans is special for us as well. It’s good to play against Fijiana as this is a big step towards the World Series.”
While the Kiwis have come out from New Zealand’s chilly weather and are enjoying the humid conditions in Suva, the 31-year-old said they are learning as much as possible.
“It’s been awesome. We love coming to Fiji and having a full squad as this is the first time we travelled together and connecting well, feels amazing.”
“I just can’t wait for the tournament. We’ve done 10 weeks of pre-season and it’s going to be a good weekend playing the best teams from the HSBC series.”
“For us, it’s just about getting combinations and footy under the belt. It’s going to be tough playing against the three teams since we haven’t really played much 7s since last year.”