There Are Lessons To Learn From Singapore
Our Singapore Sevens campaign came to an abrupt halt when we lost 24-19 to USA in the Cup quarterfinal yesterday.
It was not a disgrace for the Vodafone Fijian 7s team when they fought back from a 24-7 deficit in the final two minutes.
Two quick tries from young winger Josua Vici and veteran Isake Katonibau saw them back in contention but time was not on our side.
For the Gareth Baber coached-side there were many lessons learnt from the encounter. Two of these are;
Importance of having possession. The US forwards denied them the ball for most part of the game and literally shut them out of the game. That is why it is crucial for them to contest and win their kickoffs.
From the scraps they had, they managed to score three tries and one would have imagined the number of tries they would have scored if they had more ball to utilise.
The need to stop playing catch-up rugby. For the Vodafone Fijians, they have got to realise that once they give their opponents the upper hand, it will only rejuvenate their confidence and make things harder for them.
The early lead inspired the Americans to go all out and pressured them into committing mistakes.
These are nothing new but they’ve got to learn and to be on top of their game all the time.
The onus is now on the Vodafone Fijians to improve their game in the final two tournaments of the 2016/17 World Sevens Series, which will be in Paris and London.
We’ve got to remember that we’re still on the rebuilding stages, as Baber works on putting together his team that fits into the pattern he wants them to play.
Already, upcoming players like Mesulame Kunavale, Kalione Nasoko, Setareki Bituniyata, Sevuloni Mocenacagi, Vici, Nacanieli Labalaba, Waisea Nacuqu are settling in while newcomers Lemeki Tulele and Paula Dranisinukula are waiting for their turn to show what they’ve got.
This is a crucial moment for the team and we should be patient and allow Baber and the players time to work out what is best for us.
This is the way forward for our Vodafone Fijian 7s team and it’s only proper to thank our veterans captain Osea Kolinisau, Seremaia Tuwai, Jasa Veremalua, Amenoni Nasilasila, Katonibau, Apisai Domolailai, Vatemo Ravouvou, Joeli Lutumailagi and Masivesi Dakuwaqa for holding the fort to allow this transition to take place.