Opinion

7s Success Formula: Teamwork And The Will To Win

The South African Blitzboks led 17-5 at half time in the inaugural HSBC Hamilton 7s cup final on Sunday. In reality, this power-packed South African side laced with speed merchants
06 Feb 2018 15:15
7s Success Formula: Teamwork And The Will To Win
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s reps (from left) Eroni Sau, Paula Dranisinukula, Apenisa Cakaubalavu, Sevuloni Mocenacagi, Josua Vakurinabili, captain Seremaia Tuwai, Mesulame Kunavula, Alosio Naduva, Vatemo Ravouvou and Amenoni Nasilasila celebrate their win on February 4, 2018 at the Hamilton 7s. They were crowned champions after beating South Africa 24-17. Photo: Bruce Southwick/ZoomFiji

The South African Blitzboks led 17-5 at half time in the inaugural HSBC Hamilton 7s cup final on Sunday.

In reality, this power-packed South African side laced with speed merchants would have won the final and no way was there any other team that could have made a gallant comeback or even narrowed their deficit.

Except for one team; the rampant Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team.

The spirited performance by a relatively inexperienced Flying Fijians outfit was best described by a television commentator who said it was ‘pure magic’.

Besides a mesmerising display of 7s rugby, the outrageous offloads were the ingredients that created that magical spin.

Executing the basics with well-timed support and better control of possession supplemented by moments of unorthodox style of play entertained thousands at the park and the global audience who were glued to their television sets.

Fiji was indeed a winner.

In fact, Fiji’s performances in the quarterfinal, semifinal and then epic final displayed three things – teamwork, a ruthless defence and the magic of our naturally gifted players.

The Samoans, under the guidance of Sir Gordon Tietjens had reached the quarterfinals after a win over the much fancied United States of America side in their pool game.

However, against Fiji in a nail biting quarterfinal, a slow, but surely improving Seremaia Tuwai-led side showing a determined will to win, that has been missing in previous tournaments, pulled the game out of the fire at the final whistle.

The typical physical battle against the Pacific neighbours set up Tuwai’s men for the showdown against home side New Zealand in the semifinal.

In the end, after the loss of a lot of fingernails on Fiji’s diehard fans, the national side trudged on into the finals.

Many sceptics ruled the team out from winning the gold medal because South Africa was the form team on the circuit and favourite.

Coming into the second spell and down 17 – 5, many thought Fiji would not overcome the South Africans with that score-line and seven minutes left on the clock.

Then the magic surfaced and twirled and as the saying goes, the rest is history.

Fiji spun its magic with two out of this world passes that a TV commentator described as ‘can never be taught’.

Flying Fijian winger Alosio Naduva earned himself a hat-trick of tries; two of them from Kalione Nasoko’s no look passes that caught the opposition off guard.

The national 7s team earned a lot of accolades and respect for the Hamilton 7s final performance.

Our heroes showed that both a resilient and organised defence backed by surprise on attack is a sure tonic for a winning formula.

The great former French warlord Napoleon Bonaparte once said: Surprise is the essence of attack.

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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