Fiji Times – Replacement Filipe Nasilasila touched down the winning try to gift the Fiji under-18 rugby 7s team a bronze medal at the Youth Olympic Games in China.
The Ratu Kadavulevu School U18 inside centre stepped past three Kenyan defenders and raced away 30 yards to score the try in the corner as Fiji avenged their round-robin match loss when it mattered and created another piece of history in the process.
The young Fijian ruggers defeated Kenya 12-0 after earlier losing 17-12 in the round-robin match on Tuesday.
Nasilasila replaced Christa David Powell who was injured in the opening seven minutes and played a huge role in Fiji’s victory.
Alipate Qaraniqio scored Fiji’s opening try under the post as Fiji led 7-0 at the break.
Vodafone Fiji 7s coach Ben Ryan said it was a proud moment for the young players.
“Getting an Olympic medal is something to be very proud of,” he said.
“The build-up, as publicly recorded, was pretty difficult and I’m sure everyone learnt some great lessons to take forward to the next youth event, which should be the Junior Commonwealth Games in Samoa next year.”
Ryan said it was a great feeling to beat Kenya and end the competition on a high note.
“I’m glad the team got up for today’s (yesterday) final game and won the bronze. It was a long competition and to finish well was excellent.”
He believes the bunch of players should be developed after the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games.
“Our tracking of players could be a lot better across all our teams.
“When you get to 18, you should really have a very good idea of all the players available and things like trials, in their purest sense, shouldn’t be needed to find new talent only look for combinations or put players head to head against each other.
“I’m very pleased for the lads and management that they have come away with a bronze and now it should wet the appetite for further success and development at age group levels in years to come.”
In the gold medal playoff, France edged Argentina to win gold.
– Fiji Times