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Rio Olympics, SPORTS

Unpredictability Is Key

Unpredictability Is Key
August 02
12:10 2016


Taking the world’s best sevens team out of the friendly islands (Fiji) has been a master stroke from coaches Ben Ryan and Chris Cracknell. As much as we love them, and no place is like home, every step they take is under the microscope of our people who happen to be the hungriest rugby fans on planet earth.

So we have all left home with a nation’s hope deep in our minds, now it is all business as they sharpen up for the final aspects of an Olympic challenge that we were born for.

This is a massive weight of expectation, but here on the ground in Chile, it is as if it is any game for these great teams. Mentally we are treating this as a standard sevens series event, even though we are Islanders, the routine and dedication these sides exude is incredible.

We may be unpredictable and unknown on the field, but off it we are calculated and driven. This is exemplified by captain fantastic, Oscar (Osea Kolinisau) being the first man downstairs at the hotel awaiting the bus to training. He is there 30 minutes before we are due to leave. Every step of the way, this man is always there leading from the front.

These first four days for the men has been about adapting to the new time zone and just this morning we have hit the tempo and form at training that would scare the life out of any team watching on. Communication is loud and the angles, unloads and skill factor is breathtaking to say the least. The most staggering aspect for me watching on is the Fijian way is paramount, no matter how fit, how organised or healthy we are, every instruction and advice chisels us foremost as better Fijians at this game.  None of our flair or fun for life is taken out, if anything it has elevated this way of life to play the game like never before. This is the most evident key for me, we are playing like Fijians and it is as if Ben Ryan has taken away a part of gravity to allow us to hover above as we do it.

As big rivals New Zealand, South Africa and co will be going overtime with computers to watch our moves of the past desperately seeking ways to take us down. Teams indeed will formulate a plan for us, this analysing will find a few things of interest and so called weaknesses, but we train and play from a collective inner knowledge that only we understand, our team rely on instinct. What they have seen already may never happen again, as the likes of Jerry Tuwai or Kiti Taliga might do 100 different things from one starting point, we don’t have a pattern anyone can remember, except an almost telepathic understanding of how to attack.

It is natural to us, it is right and it is easy when we play like Fijians and at the moment we are poised to dance beautifully on the biggest rugby stage of them all.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua


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