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Editorial: Let’s Get 7s Mission Accomplished In Paris

Editorial: Let’s Get 7s Mission Accomplished In Paris
The triumphant Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team after their win at the London 7s at Twickenham on Monday. Photo: World Rugby
June 06
11:01 2018

While we lead the Sevens Series points table by seven points from closest rival South Africa, the job is not done yet

Let’s not get carried away after that sensational victory in the final of the London 7s at Twicken­ham early on Monday morning.

It was a great victory and our Fiji Airways Fijian 7s reps deserve a hearty congratulation for a magnificent performance.

While we lead the Sevens Series points table by seven points from closest rival South Africa, the job is not done yet.

Paris beckons and it will be a totally different chal­lenge there.

Our reps cannot sit on their laurels and become com­placent.

We are not out of the woods yet, so to speak.

South Africa is out to spoil the party for us this week­end. If we fall early in the preliminaries and South Af­rica goes on to win the tournament, they will take the series.

Right now it is a mathematical calculation and the re­sults will determine the final outcome.

The minimum we must reach to win us the series is a bronze medal with South Africa winning the final.

But that’s not what coach Gareth Baber wants. He is on the roll and he wants this excellent run to continue in Paris.

That means winning the tournament and the series.

It is not a hard ask. In fact, it looks more and more promising now after the spectacular London perfor­mance.

Baber knows his team is maturing and peaking at the right time.

He also knows that the injection of Semi Radradra and Josua Tuisova made a huge difference in London.

But they won’t be there in Paris and their absence will certainly be felt.

Secondly, we are in a tough pool that features Samoa, Commonwealth Games 7s champion New Zealand and much improved Kenya.

They will be fired up after their mixed performances in London and will give our reps a stiff challenge.

Baber knows that without Radradra and Tuisova, he still has depth in the team to draw from.

This is a young team, a mixture of experience and rookies, who have gradually built a team spirit and cul­ture that enhance the talents in the side.

Time and time again they have come from behind and snatched victory seconds from the end of the match.

They have proved that they have the capacity not to panic, maintain their composure, and deliver that crushing blow to the opposition.

In London, some of their weaknesses were exposed, though. One was defence. They need to tighten it if they want to completely dominate the games in Paris.

This is it, the moment they have been waiting for. They will want to make a statement in Paris that there is only one team to beat, moving forward to the World Cup in San Francisco, USA, in July – and that is Fiji.

NEMANI DELAIBATIKI

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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