Snub motivates fiji to win hk 7s

But rugby, netball allow others to compete in Glasgow Osea Bola Ben Ryan and Waisale Serevi say rugby’s and netball’s exclusion from the July Commonwealth Games in Glasgow is big
27 Mar 2014 10:32

But rugby, netball allow others to compete in Glasgow

Samisoni Viriviri (left), and Emosi Mulevoro training in Hong Kong. Vodafone Fiji will defend their title at the Hong Kong 7s starting tomorrow. Photo: Ian Muir

Osea Bola

Ben Ryan and Waisale Serevi say rugby’s and netball’s exclusion from the July Commonwealth Games in Glasgow is big motivation to win the Hong Kong 7s.
In Suva, last night, rugby and netball gave other sports the choice to participate instead of asking them to boycott the Games.
Vodafone Fiji 7s coach Ryan and 7s legend Serevi, two of the best 7s exponents, told the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post Olympics was the goal.
“There’s no doubt we’d have a very realistic gold medal chance in Glasgow but not playing isn’t that big a disappointment,” he said.
“It gives us added motivation to do well in Hong Kong,” coach Ryan, 42, said.
“What’s more important is getting Olympic qualification so it gives us a chance to have a good pre-season instead.”
So when Fiji Rugby Union development officer Sale Sorovaki spoke at the Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee annual general assembly in Suva last night, he followed Ryan’s line. Rugby had no objection to other sports going to Glasgow. Netball endorsed rugby’s position. Prior to the meeting, sports were building up to a collective decision to boycott the Games in support of rugby and netball.
But, Ryan said the players and team management had long since accepted they wouldn’t be playing in Glasgow. It had only been in the last few weeks that they had been given a glimmer of hope as Fiji were readmitted into the Commonwealth family.
He said: “The boys never thought they’d be going to Glasgow and have not competed in the event since 2006. If we’d always thought we’d be competing, and then it was taken away, it’d be very different. But that is not the case.”
Mr Ryan said: “I think everybody in Fiji would forgive me if we lost every game over the next two years, including the Commonwealth Games, but won an Olympic gold medal in Rio. I’ve been employed to get the Fiji team on the top podium in the Olympics. That’s the main goal.
“Hong Kong’s a place where we’ve had great success and will have the best chance to get back-to-back wins, but it won’t be easy.”
Mr Serevi agreed with coach Ryan and also preferred to focus on the bigger picture.
“It’s very disappointing not to be able to play in Glasgow, but the good thing is that our country has been welcomed back to compete in the Commonwealth Games after all the things that have happened in Fiji,” Mr Serevi said. “Doing well here in Hong Kong and at the Rio Olympic Games is more important.”
The top four teams in the Sevens World Series next year will get automatic promotion to the 2016 Rio Olympics and that is Ryan’s biggest priority.
Earlier this month, Fiji were readmitted to the Games fold, ending years of isolation following the 2006 takeover. The return though was only approved after the draw for the Glasgow 7s tournament was completed, with the qualification rules making no provision for late entries.
FASANOC president Reg Sanday said last night they had raised the bar and set the criteria for sports wanting to go to Glasgow. Details would be revealed today, he added.

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