Sunvoice

Our 7 Can’t Afford To Slip Further In Vegas

The USA 7s in Las Vegas this weekend will be a crucial stopover for the Vodafone Fiji 7s team. Ben Ryan and his men cannot afford to slip further from
09 Feb 2015 07:23
Our 7 Can’t Afford To Slip Further In Vegas
Vodafone Fiji 7s rep Vatemo Ravouvou tries to tackle an English player during their Cup Quarterfinal match at Westpac Stadium in New Zealand last Saturday. Photo: Bruce Southwick-Zoomfiji

The USA 7s in Las Vegas this weekend will be a crucial stopover for the Vodafone Fiji 7s team.

Ben Ryan and his men cannot afford to slip further from third spot in the fifth leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series.

With four rounds to go before the ninth and final round in London in May, the Fijians will need to win after flops in Dubai and Port Elizabeth tournaments.

All participating teams know the importance of winning as the 2014-15 series doubles as direct qualifiers for the 2016 Olympic Games

The top-four ranked countries will book their places in Rio alongside the hosts, Brazil.

For those who miss out on top-four status, the second half of 2015 will bring regional events from which six more qualifiers will book their tickets to Rio.

And for those still not on the plane, there’s a last chance –one final global repechage event in the first half of 2016 –to qualify the 12th and final men’s team.

After winning the Plate final in Wellington over the weekend, our  Fijians need to recapture the headlines again in Vegas, Hong Kong,Tokyo, Edinburgh and London.

The race for the top slots in Rio definitely gathers momentum after the Wellington 7s with 10 countries can earn direct entry if they do well in the remaining five tournaments.

We have the right players and a top coach in Ben Ryan. But what is left for the players to execute and do it right on the field.

We hope the players have learned what went wrong at the Westpac Stadium.

The two-match suspension of team captain Osea Kolinisau and Semi Kunatani should be a good learning experience for the team in that when the chips are down, players need to step up.

They should take charge and do what needs to be done. New Zealand played without their captain DJ Forbes in the  Cup semifinal and final. But they still managed to beat South Africa and England well under stand-in captain Scott Curry.

And in the process and unveiled a new star in Auckland 17-year-old Rieko Ioane.

We have a lot experienced players who are seasoned campaigners on the global 7s circuit. Let’s hope they do it right at the Sam Boyd Stadium this weekend..

Feedback:  oseab@fijisun.com.fj

 




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