SPORTS

No Guarantees For 7s Success

Having lost in the Plate final to Australia at the Westpac Stadium last weekend, Argentina find themselves fifth overall in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens  Series heading into Sydney. We
04 Feb 2016 11:09
No Guarantees For 7s Success
Savenaca Rawaca

Having lost in the Plate final to Australia at the Westpac Stadium last weekend, Argentina find themselves fifth overall in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens  Series heading into Sydney. We caught up with their coach Santiago Gomez Cora to look at the week ahead.

For those of us that are a part of this HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, to come to a new city is always good; it helps to change the air and distract the head.

Personally, my tourism opportunities are what I call sporting tourism. To bring my anxiety levels down some mornings before breakfast I jog between six and ten kilometers which I use to get acquainted with whichever city we are staying in.

It helps to clear my mind, organise my team’s training sessions and decide on the make-up of the team. Sometimes I manage to drag some of my staff – physio Martín Zuchiatti and manager Toti Chiocarelli often come with me.

We are heading into another tough weekend. There are no more easy teams; every one of the fifteen core teams is a hard opponent. The series used to be run by South Africa, New Zealand and Fiji but now there are more teams that can unsettle them. Australia, England, Kenya, Samoa, USA, even ourselves can bring them discomfort and make it to semis and finals. The first three tournaments are proof of this parity.

The truth is that the gap shortened a few years ago. Today, a bad bounce of the ball, a move that goes well or doesn’t, a defining moment can change your weekend. You can go from being in the quarters to playing in the lower side of the tournament. There are no longer guarantees of success.

For the better teams, in years gone, the first day was usually easy, but not anymore. Because of this, we are proud of fulfilling our primary goal that is being amongst the top eight in every tournament.

Word on the circuit is that we are good at the breakdown and our defence is solid, that we are an uncomfortable team to play against. Whilst we are not convinced about this, it is satisfying to know they are saying this about us. We continue to work on different aspects of our game. Whilst we managed to score more points in our pool games, more so against Japan, we did not have the ball in the games we lost. We found it tough to gain possession and we need to work on the breakdown as we were penalised far too many times.

 

STARS ARRIVING

FOR RIO TILT

And the stars arrived! Teams are aiming to develop them in the sseries and not send them directly to the Olympic Games. Experience is crucial in sevens and it is clearly harder to go from 15s to sevens than the other way round.

Sonny Bill Williams showed what a great player he is but needs to gain more experience in the circuit, he will certainly adapt. He was interviewed in Wellington and it was clear how humble he is and his eagerness to learn.

From day one, our plan has been that players coming from 15s have time to adapt. Evidently, this is something all coaches are looking at from the same angle.

Stars from the 15s game will continue to show up as they chase a place in Rio. This is good for the circuit and for sevens.

New players quickly adapt to being on the sevens trail, they have to. There is an inside life, one that we all know and enjoy. We share so many things and therefore it is very important to be able to coexist. Jumping on the sevens bandwagon is a whirlwind, and I am excited to see where this weekend takes us.

 

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