Opinion

EDITORIAL: From 4th To 11th Change, Shake Way Forward For Fijiana

The writing is on the wall for the Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s team. Something is definitely wrong and Fiji Rugby Union should take action now and do a thorough and
03 Dec 2017 10:40
EDITORIAL: From 4th To 11th Change, Shake Way Forward For Fijiana

The writing is on the wall for the Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s team.

Something is definitely wrong and Fiji Rugby Union should take action now and do a thorough and detailed analysis on how to lift the women’s rugby sevens in the country to save us from further embarrassment.

The pathetic performance of the Iliesa Tanivula-coached side at the 2017-18 Women Sevens Series in Dubai needs some serious soul searching and shake up.

It’s not what fans expected but the team made news for the very wrong reason at the tournament.

While the pre-tournament objective was to rise from the No.4 placing, the team slumped to 11th .

The team lost all their three pool games going down to Ireland 20-12, 19-5 by Spain and 31-14 by Canada.

And to add salt to the wound they went down to South Africa 17-14 in the Challenge Trophy semifinal.

It’s the worst record and placing to date and it must be clarified as to what went wrong? Who is responsible? And players and Tanivula must bite the bullet for their inaction and nose-diving performance.

It’s not that the other teams played well but we simply played poorly right from the start.

The majority of the players have been playing together for years under Tanivula.

And it was evident that either the players had no fire left in their belly or Tanivula has simply lost the plot, plan and drive to inspire the team.

The team was in total shambles in the first game against Ireland, no plan, direction and purpose.

And while we thought the team would improve, it went from bad to worse. Losing 14-17 to new team on the series South Africa was a total disgrace.

We need someone who can take charge and instill discipline.

2018 is an important year as we have the Women Sevens Series tournaments in Sydney (January), Kitakyushu, Japan (April), Langford, Canada (May) and Paris (June).

We also have the Commonwealth Games Gold Coast in April and the Rugby Sevens World Cup.   

Dubai holds added significance for the teams as they move toward RSWC in San Francisco in July as points from the first two tournaments on the series will be added to their totals in 2016/17 to determine seeding at the prestigious event.

Senior players and Tanivula must do the right thing and give way for fresh blood instead of making up the numbers.

The team that took part in Dubai lacked drastically in all facets of the game.

They were blunt on attack, in sixes and sevens in defence and no purpose in their plan going forward.

It’s easy for their opponents to read what they are going to do because of their one dimensional approach.

The telegraphic move usually involves spreading the ball out wide to suck and suffocate the defence. And at times we ended up suffocated when the opponents were on attack because we lacked game fitness.

While we all want women rugby to thrive, we need the right people to play and run the show.

Let’s hope the humiliation in the desert of Dubai would be the last. Our women can do better.

Feedback:  oseab@fijisun.com.fj

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