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Great Britain keep SVNS Grand Final hopes alive with win over Fiji

By Finn Morton
Joseva Talacolo #2 of Fiji runs with the ball against Robbie Fergusson #10 (L) and Harry Glover #6 of Great Britain in the men's pool C match during day one of the HSBC SVNS Singapore at the National Stadium on May 03, 2024 in Singapore. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)

Great Britain have kept their hopes of playing in the upcoming SVNS Grand Final in Madrid alive with a hard-fought 19-14 win over Fiji at Singapore’s National Stadium on Friday evening.

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With the currently-eighth-placed USA claiming statement wins over Fiji and Ireland on day one, Great Britain already have their backs up against the ropes in the fight to compete in the Spanish capital.

Ireland proved too good for GB in the early afternoon, with three different try scorers inspiring an important win for the men in the green as they ready themselves for a championship fight of their own.

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That defeat ensured “every game is a final” for Great Britain at the three-day tournament, and they certainly played like it with an inspired victory over a winless Fiji outfit who now sit last in Pool C.

“It’s big for us. We spoke about it a bit in the changeroom that if we didn’t win that game, that was bottom four for us in Madrid,” Great Britain’s Robbie Fergusson told RugbyPass.

“We’ve won that game, we live to fight another game tomorrow against the USA. Every game is a final for us at the moment to try and keep the eight alive which would be huge for us.

“Beating Fiji was an obstacle so it just shows we can do it against anyone.”

About 20 minutes before the men’s team ran onto the field, the Fiji women’s team celebrated their 29-7 win over Brazil. A small pocked of Fiji fans waved their national flag and made their voices heard.

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One passionate Fijian supporter, who was briefly interviewed by the ground announcer in the stands at the Singapore venue, gave a shoutout to the men’s team as they warmed up for the pool stage clash.

Fiji fans wanted to see their rugby heroes get the job done but it wasn’t to be in the end.

Great Britain struck first through Kaleem Barreto, and Robbie Fergusson added another five-pointer to the score only a minute later as the underdogs landed a few meaningful blows early on.

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Joji Nasova and Vatemo Ravouvou were both sent to the sin bin late in the first half and while the Fijians managed to rally and score the opening try after the break, it was GB’s night in Singapore.

Tom Emery scored Great Britain’s third and final try of the contest in the 12th minute which ended up being the difference between two nations with five teams between them on the Series standings.

“The whole Series right now, you can look from the Canada drawing with New Zealand (in regular time) earlier today. You can look at Australia beating Argie who have been untouchable,” Fergusson added.

“It’s peaks and troughs all the way through. Sevens is a game of moments. You take your moments and you usually end up on the right side of the result.”

While they managed to finish day one with a win, Great Britain are still third in Pool C, while Fiji are one back in last.

GB will take on top-eight rivals the USA in a blockbuster clash on Saturday. The Eagles are eighth on the ladder, so for Great Britain to be a chance of the top eight, this is one they need to win.

Catch up on all the latest SVNS Series action from the 2023/24 season on RugbyPass TV. SVNS Singapore is live and free to watch, all you need to do is sign up HERE.

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