Weather Fiji, Suva   Max 30°C, Min 23°C

Fiji Sun

Opinion, Opinion

EDITORIAL: Getting Ready For 7s Call

EDITORIAL: Getting  Ready For 7s  Call
December 17
13:08 2017

The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team need to make use of the off –season to prepare for the second cluster of the World Sevens Series in 2018.

The focus of the nation is always on the players and their performance and they should do extra to be at their level best at the Sydney-Hamilton tournaments next month.

Matches are won off the field and this means priority should be placed on preparations.

Gone are the days when players should wait for camp to get themselves tested for national duty.

We have been taking part since the World Sevens Series started in 1999 and fitness should not be an issue anymore.

Players know the processes involved and they should play their part and leave the coaching staff to worry about tactics, plans and rugby fundamentals.

Our team struggled at the Dubai-Cape Town Sevens tournaments as they were left to play with 10 men in Dubai and 11 in Cape Town because players were injured.

It’s a nightmare for Fiji Airways Fijian 7s coach Gareth Baber to make the players recover in time for the next game on tour.

Hardly players play to their full potential because of the short turnaround.

Managing injured players on tour is an added and unnecessary burden for the coaching staff.

A case in point is Olympian Apisai Domolailai who was injured in Dubai, declared fit in Cape Town but hardly made an impact.

Whether the Nadroga native needs more time to recover, he hardly the player he once was.

He once was the best impact player as he always provided the spark when the team needed it. Perhaps he need time to recover

Currently third on the points standings, the Seremaia Tuwai-captained team performances in the first cluster was nowhere near good enough.

The team squandered opportunities and gave the game away.

Firstly we were in the spotlight for the wrong reason going down to Canada in pool play.

Secondly, the talking point of the Cape Town Sevens was how we gave away a good lead to lose to the Blitzboks in the Cup quarterfinals.

While South African rugby fans will be disappointed after the Blitzboks lost to New Zealand in the semifinal, they’ll no doubt remember the gallant fightback against the Fijians.

The Fijians led for most parts but the fighting spirit of the Blitzboks, spurred on by boisterous home support, saw them sneak a victory at the death.

Fiji raced into a 14-0 lead after just 90 seconds and led 21-5 just before the break.

The hosts pulled the score back to 21-17, before the Fijians again silenced the capacity crowd with a try to lead 26-17 with just over two minutes remaining.

Late tries from Kwagga Smith and Seabelo Senatla saw the stadium erupt as the Blitzboks pulled off a memorable win.

We can’t afford to allow this happen in future as it’s a sign of a weak team. Players must learn not to get caught up in the situation and the vibes generated by the atmosphere in the stands.

We can only achieve that if we prepare well in advance. And the time to start is NOW.

Feedback:  oseab@fijisun.com.fj

Related Articles