SPORTS

Work In Progress

No amount of criticism will change the outcome of the Sydney Sevens. We lost 24-7 to USA in the Cup quarterfinals but fought our way back to secure a spot
29 Jan 2018 11:00
Work In Progress
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s forward Paula Dranisinukula runs away from USA defenders during the cup quaterfinal match on January 28,2018. Photo: Kitione Rokomanu/Zoom Fiji

No amount of criticism will change the outcome of the Sydney Sevens. We lost 24-7 to USA in the Cup quarterfinals but fought our way back to secure a spot in the plate final where the Kiwis walloped us 31-7 last night.

Hard luck for a side that only had two survivors from the 2016 Olympic Games triumph!

It was actually not out day.

Earlier on, the Americans exploited us in all facets of play.

Veteran USA prop Danny Barrett said the key was to maintain possession and be clinical in their game.

“It’s an attack minding game,” Barrett said after the win.

The Americans frustrated the Fijians who lost their discipline and gave away penalties, took wrong options and began playing individually.

Right from the first day, there were aspects of our game that coach Gareth Baber and the players need to address before they play in Hamilton, New Zealand, this weekend;

– Possession: We need to win the kick-offs, line-outs, scrum feed and also be aggressive in the breakdown areas, if we are to get the ball and score the much-needed tries. We cannot win a tournament by defending all the time.

-Leader: We need someone of a ‘Katonibau’ factor to assist captain, Seremaia Tuwai. The Cakaudrove native was not at his best in Sydney as the pressure of the leadership role began to take its toll on him. This affected his judgement at crucial times.

-Teamwork: Players have got to work together when they are behind especially during the elimination stages when the pressure is on. Against USA and New Zealand they tend to rely on individual brilliance and were completely shut out by the defence.

Its matter of learning and doing this things right. No need to press the panic button and give-up on our boys.Yet.

But the Commonwealth Games loom.

Sometimes, it’s better that we are faced with this now instead of it happening during the Commonwealth Games in April and the Sevens Rugby World Cup in July.

So, let’s wish the team all the best in Hamilton this weekend. If there’s no improvement there that panic button is not far off.

Edited by Anasilini Ratuva

Feedback:  leonec@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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