April 02, 2022
New Zealand women's 7s captain Tenika Wilson says Fijiana has always been a tough side to beat in 7s rugby.
Wilson said this following the Black Ferns win at the Super 7s Series in Lautoka last month as they prepared for the HSBC women’s upcoming competitions.
“It was an experience, that’s for sure,” Willison told the Black Ferns website.
"Fijiana have always been strong and I feel like they’ve just found their flow and have the potential to be great.
"They've got threats all across the park. Their ability to play an offload game and trust their speed and running through the mud was really strong.
“They’ve had it pretty tough. Only now are they starting to get the recognition they deserve. It’s so cool to see what they’re doing to grow the game of women’s rugby and open up pathways.”
The Black Ferns Sevens were in commanding form at the Super 7s, conceding just one try in six games en route to the title.
They defeated Army Army 36-0 in the final with Michaela Blyde scoring two of the six tries.
“We pretty much played Sevens in a pool. For the first four days it was scorching hot and then it rained the whole time. Against Fijiana it was like swimming in a paddock. It was hard to adapt to that, but I feel like we’ll never get that again.”
Fijiana were tough opponents, and the Black Ferns Sevens knew what to expect, having beaten them in extra time in the Tokyo Olympics semi-final.
Despite defeat, the tour opened pathways and provided valuable lessons for the Black Ferns Sevens who’ll defend their World Cup and Commonwealth Games titles later in the year.
“We flowed pretty well. It’s easy to bounce off each other because we’ve played a lot together. Our decision making was in the moment. Sometimes it only took a look to know whether she or I would speak. There were some cool moments with other leaders stepping up too.
“This was a new team and a young side. Everyone shined a light on their different duties and the off-field connection was really strong. We lacked a bit of on-field connection and that was due to a lack of experience, and trial and error."
By Romeka Romena