TOP BAR - Fixtures

Frank Halai targeting Wasps improvement in Singha 7s series final

They may have had no problems finding the try-line on Saturday, but Wasps’ star Frank Halai is adamant his side will have to up their game even further if they are to claim the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series title this year.

Led by Josh Bassett, an impressive Wasps' line-up that included Rob Miller, Nick De Luca, Brendan Macken and Halai swept Bristol Rugby and Bath Rugby aside in their opening matches on Saturday – scoring a whopping 58 points and qualifying for the Singha 7s final at the Ricoh Arena with a game to spare.
 
But it was not all smooth sailing for the Coventry outfit as they were edged out in the final match of the day by group-winning hosts Exeter Chiefs.
 
And with the club having just missed out on the Singha 7s title last year, beaten in the grand final by Newport Gwent Dragons, Halai insists they will be pulling out all the stops to avoid the same fate on home soil on August 7.
 
“We started slow in the first game and were maybe slightly lucky to get that win, but then we found the second game a lot easier,” he said.
 
“But we were unlucky to lose that last game at the end, and there are certainly a few things to work on from our point of view.
 
“Defensively, Exeter were breaking us down too easily in both halves of the game, so we have some hard work to do ahead of the next competition.
 
“It was a lot easier going of course when we had the ball in hand, but we needed to make more of our tackles.
 
“We would have liked to have won all three games, but we are happy with two wins and to head back to the final at home at the Ricoh Arena.”
 
With tries aplenty, sensational offloads and rapid running rugby characterising the Singha 7s, Halai admitted his first taste of the competition had been a baptism of fire.
 
But with some competitive rugby back in his legs, the 28-year-old winger is hoping he gets the chance to do it all again in Coventry – where the Carnival-themed Singha 7s Series Final will light up the city.
 
He added: “This was my first time playing in the Singha 7s and there was a great turnout from the fans. The lungs were blowing a bit but it was good fun in spite of that.
 
“I found it hard going. The last time I played any 7s was four years ago, but hopefully I can keep my place and play again at the Ricoh – a few of the other boys are coming back now so we’ll have to see.”
 
Eight teams will play for the first silverware of the season in the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series Finals from 2pm at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry on Sunday 7 August. Click here for tickets.

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