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Editorial: Our 7s team should remain grounded

Editorial: Our 7s team should remain grounded
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s prop and Olympian Jasa Veremalua flicks a pass during the New Zealand Sevens in Hamilton where Fiji won their first torunament of the 2017/18 World Sevens Series. Photo: Zimbio
June 25
14:06 2018

Are we the best sevens rugby team in the world, right now? I don’t think so. Many will surely not agree with this statement, but it’s the truth.

Yes, the truth as they always say hurts.

We may be the reigning Olympic Games 7s gold medal winners but we did that back in 2016.

Today, we’re not even the Commonwealth Games champions after we came out second best to New Zealand.

Then in the 2017/18 HSBC World Sevens Series, we were beaten to the tape by South Africa. Even though we had won the Hamilton, Vancouver, Hong Kong, Singapore and London tournaments, we still lost out by two points. This is the reality of our situation.

The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s players and officials should be made aware of this fact when they march into camp this week to prepare for next month’s Sevens Rugby World Cup in San Francisco, USA, The Melrose Cup is at stake.

Many times our players and officials have this illusion that we are the best in the world of sevens rugby when the results say otherwise. It may be embarrassing but it has been happening and we’ve been carried away by it.

What makes matters worse is when opposition teams like the Blitzboks, New Zealand, England, Kenya and Australia work on it to mislead us further. Their endless praises of our past victories coupled with their continuous commentaries on how good we are with the game have not really done us any favours.

Such actions have created unnecessary pressures on the Seremaia Tuwai-captained side, which often see them lose out during crucial stages of the tournaments that they are playing in.

As they gear towards the Sevens Rugby World Cup, they should not be focused and be carried away by these false thoughts and praises. Instead, they should hold on to the fact that they are still yet to be No.1 but are capable of achieving it.

They should learn from Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent interview on Portugal’s chances of winning the FIFA World Cup.

“We know we are not the favourites, we have to be realistic, but in football nothing is impossible.”

With our rugby stars like Semi Radradra, Josua Tuisova, Semi Kunatani and probably Leone Nakarawa back to boost our Sevens Rugby World Cup chances, let’s stay grounded and keep a low profile in our preparations as we map out a strategy that will enable us to win back the Melrose Cup for a third time.

Yes, we can still do it and just like what Ronaldo said – “nothing is impossible”.

Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback:  leone.cabenatabua@fijisun.com.fj

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