Fiji were simply unstoppable, admits Team GB’s Mark Bennett

Fiji's Vatemo Ravouvou gets to grips with Britain's Mark Bennett during the Olympic rugby sevens final. Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Fiji's Vatemo Ravouvou gets to grips with Britain's Mark Bennett during the Olympic rugby sevens final. Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
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Mark Bennett admitted Team GB were simply powerless to prevent Fiji from taking an historic first-ever Olympic gold in the rugby sevens final.

The small Pacific Island nation have been the best side on the sevens circuit for two years and on a magical night at the Deodoro Stadium in Rio they cut the Brits to ribbons.

Former Glasgow man Leone Nakarawa was in rampaging form for Fiji in the Olympic sevens final. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Former Glasgow man Leone Nakarawa was in rampaging form for Fiji in the Olympic sevens final. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

A five-try first half did the damage as they opened up a 29-0 lead at the interval and from then there was no way back for the Brits.

In the end it finished 43-7 to secure Fiji’s first ever Olympic medal of any colour, but Bennett and his teammates can take enormous pride from their achievement in securing silver.

They produced a fantastic defensive showing to down South Africa 7-5 in the semi-finals earlier in the day, but the final was always going to be a bridge too far – as Bennett conceded after the medal ceremony.

“It’s a disappointing final result yeah but Fiji were absolutely outstanding on the day so full credit to them,” the Glasgow and Scotland centre said.

“I don’t think there was much we could have done to stop them.

“To come away for a silver medal is huge – credit to all the effort.

“To play in that final was incredible – obviously it didn’t go the way we wanted to but we couldn’t have done anything differently.”

The British squad only came together ten weeks ago after the end of the World Sevens Series and Bennett – who will return to Glasgow Warriors now – cannot quite believe what they have achieved.

“If you had said to us ten weeks ago that we were going to be Olympic silver medallists we probably would have laughed at you,” he added.

“Now we are here and we have done it – full credit to all the hard work that has been put in by the boys.

“The team spirit that we have is absolutely amazing.

“I think the support for Sevens has been amazing – particularly from home it has been an incredible. I would think that this has not done the game of Sevens any harm back home.”

There was a touching moment at the final whistle as Leone Nakawara – Bennett’s former teammate at the Warriors – sought out his former clubmate to console him before the Fijian celebrations began.

“I know big Leone so it was special,” admitted Bennett.

“They were deserved winners on the day and you can’t really argue with that.

“They were the better team at the end – and that gesture from Leone just shows what they are like as people and the culture that they have is incredible.”

Aldi is the first Official Supermarket partner of Team GB and has been championing our nation’s extraordinary athletes on their Road to Rio and encouraging the public to tuck into fresh, affordable, Great British food. For more information visit aldi.co.uk

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