A look at Ben Ryan’s first season as Fiji Sevens coach
We know how it ended, but how did it begin? A look at Fiji’s journey in the 2013/14 HSBC World Sevens Series.
Ben Ryan, formerly England’s rugby sevens head coach, was appointed the Fiji Sevens coach in September 2013.
Gold Coast, Australia – October 2013
Fiji topped Pool C despite losing to Wales 19-22 but lost to England 26-12 in the Cup quarter-final. They beat Samoa 31-26 and Kenya 36-0 to win the Plate final.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates – November 2013
Fiji avenged the loss in Gold Coast by defeating England 26-21 to top Pool C. They went on to beat Scotland 26-14 in the Cup quarter-final before thrashing NZ 44-0 in the semi-final. Fiji beat all expectation of disposing of South Africa 29-17 in the Cup final.
Port Elizabeth, South Africa – December 2013
Fiji topped Pool A but lost to Samoa 28-12 in the Cup quarter-final. They beat Kenya 52-5 and France 45-19 to win the Plate final.
Las Vegas, USA – January 2014
An all time low. Fiji came third in Pool B, losing to Australia 21-22 and New Zealand 7-12. They won the Bowl final after beating Uruguay, Wales, and Kenya along the way.
Wellington, New Zealand – February 2014
Fiji beat hosts NZ 12-7 to top Pool C. They beat Argentina in the Cup quarter-final but lost to South Africa 10-0 in the semi-final, before beating England 14-7 to finish third.
Tokyo, Japan – March 2014
Fiji topped Pool C despite drawing 19-all with the USA. Beat Kenya 43-19 in the quarters and edged out NZ 17-12 in the semis, then took care of South Africa in the final 33-26.
Hong Kong – March 2014
Perhaps this tournament should have been swapped with the Tokyo round? Fiji topped Pool A, beat USA 17-5 in the quarters, but went down to England 17-7 in the semis. They finished third by beating Australia 21-12.
Glasgow, Scotland – May 2014
Fiji topped Pool C, then beat England 14-12 in the Cup quarter-final before losing to NZ 19-14 in the semis. Fiji finished third by defeating Scotland 17-10.
London, England – May 2014
Fiji was runner-up in Pool C after losing 24-12 to Australia. Fiji beat Samoa 26-10 in the quarter-final before being bundled out by NZ 12-10. Fiji was later defeated 26-19 by England.
Fiji finished third overall with 144 points behind winner New Zealand on 180 points and South Africa on 152 points.
What do you think of Ben’s first season as Fiji Sevens coach? Let us know in the comments or email us [email protected].