Opinion

Defy Cape Town Odds, Consistency Key On Defending World Series

The Vodafone Fijian 7s team should use the Dubai Sevens result as the catalyst to defend the 2016-17 World Sevens Series. Fans, players and the coaching staff know we blew
11 Dec 2016 11:00
Defy Cape Town Odds, Consistency Key On Defending World Series
The Vodafone Fijian 7s in action against South Africa during the Dubai Sevens last week. Photo: Ian Muir

The Vodafone Fijian 7s team should use the Dubai Sevens result as the catalyst to defend the 2016-17 World Sevens Series.

Fans, players and the coaching staff know we blew it in the Cup final at 7he Sevens last week.

It’s only appropriate therefore that we must shift into to overdrive going in the Cape Town Sevens this weekend if we are to win the series for the third year in a row.

The Blitzboks made a statement when they won the Dubai Sevens 26-14 with ease – sharp on attack, organised in defence and ferocious in attacking the breakdown.

Understandably, the bookmakers favour Neil Powell’s men to defend their title for the third year-in-a-row in front of a sold out Cape Town Stadium crowd.

Bookmakers, Sportingbet.co.za, have made the Blitzboks 27/20 favourites, Fijians at 5/2, followed by New Zealand (13/2), England (10/1) and Australia (18/1).

It’s only right and ripe that we defy the odds and steal their thunder by getting even in winning our first tournament at the Rainbow Nation after 11 years.

Since the World Seven Series started in 1999, the Blitzboks have too often played second fiddle after showing much promise early on.

Since taking over as head coach from Paul Treu in 2013, Powell’s men have finished as World Rugby Sevens Series runners-up on three occasions.

They finished runners-up to New Zealand in 2013/14, after which they played second fiddle to Fiji in 2014/15 and 2015/16.

If they want to finish the 2016/17 season as champions, they simply have to win more Cup finals and furthermore peaking at the right time.

Last season, South Africa’s Cape Town title was their only Cup success in 10 tournaments. Champions Fiji claimed three Cup titles, while New Zealand, who finished third behind South Africa, also bagged three titles.

The Fijians should cut the gap or take charge after Dubai and they must knock off the Cape Town Sevens, as it has been a while.

With six of our Olympians in the mix, the Osea Kolinisau-captained team boasts enough players to compete and set the pace in for the second leg in Wellington-Sydney as from next month.

Playing second fiddle again would not allow help the cause in the latter part of the series.

It’s about doing it at the right time when it really matters. A win in Cape Town would be a perfect Christmas gift for rugby fans. Already 2016 have been a fantastic and a memorable sporting year after the glorious Olympic gold medal win in Rio in August.

Our men just need to cap it off with a bang before we welcome a new sporting year.

 

Feedback: oseab@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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