29 Nov 2013

Sport: Samoa and Fiji eager to bounce back in Dubai 7s

12:20 pm on 29 November 2013

Samoa sevens coach Viliamu Punivalu says he's learnt a lot about his team and himself in the past month and a half.

Samoa were knocked out in the Plate semi finals at last month's Gold Coast Sevens, following defeats to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.

That was head coach Viliamu Punivalu's World Series debut and he says he views his team very differently.

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We have changed so many things both technically and tactically. Strategically we've changed a few things to make sure we have covered all the areas we were weak on and needed to work on from Gold Coast.

Samoa are the defending champions in this weekend's Dubai tournament and face Russia in their first match.

Meanwhile Fiji coach Ben Ryan says his players will get an early indication in Dubai of what progress they've made.

Ryan inherited a team at the Gold Coast Sevens in October, where Fiji won the Plate, but has made six changes in the squad for tournaments in Dubai and Port Elizabeth.

He says while the team is getting better, the World Series is a tough competition.

I know from experience that I have gone into tournaments with the best team in the World and we haven't won tournaments and I've gone in with teams that I thought would struggle to get out of the group and they've gone on to win so you never can foresee anything. All I can say is that the group that we've got now is the group that we've got now are evolving and are going to give it a good crack and they've got a tough group with USA, Canada and England. England score on the Friday night will be the yardstick because that was something like 26-10 in the Gold Coast so we will be able to see how far we've come and how far they've come Friday night.