Sunvoice

Series Comeback A Lesson For Our Second Best Fijian 7s Reps

Being second best is simply that – something next in quality, below the first, something next to the best. And that’s how our Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team were rated
17 Jun 2018 14:48
Series Comeback A Lesson For Our Second Best Fijian 7s Reps

Being second best is simply that – something next in quality, below the first, something next to the best.

And that’s how our Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team were rated in the past major two tournaments on offer in 2018.

We came up short losing to New Zealand 14-0 in the Commonwealth Games final in the Gold Coast, Australia, in April; we bombed out in the unluckiest of ways losing the 2017-18 World Seven Series title in Paris last weekend to South Africa.

It’s unfortunate that as the defending Olympics champions, we could not add another title to the cabinet at Rugby House for two years now since the glory in Rio in 2016.

But the fact of the matter is that’s how the sport has been contested in the world circuit now.

We thought we had the series title wrapped up after winning the London 7s and going into Paris seven points clear-wrong.

We thought winning five tournaments out of 10 (50%) would guarantee us a first place finish – wrong.

In a calculated move it only took the Blitzboks two tournaments (25%) to win the series.

They won the first tournament in Dubai in December 1-2, 2017 and the last event in Paris on June 9-10, 2018.

They started with a bang and ended with a roar.         

We won the 4th , 6th , 7th , 8th and 9th tournaments and we managed to overtake South Africa in the seventh tournament to lead by four points.

But the difference is consistency and that’s why South Africa beat us to the title when push comes to shove in the last tournament of the series.

While we found our consistency towards the end, the Blitzboks were consistent throughout the series finishing inside the top four in all 10 legs.

Heading into the final leg, they trailed Fiji by seven and the Fijians needed to reach the semifinals to claim the overall title.

But after our Cup quarterfinal defeat to England in Paris, the Blitzboks took their chances, clicked into gear and won the tournament and the title which was something no one expected.

This is another new lesson to learn for the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team as they build up to the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco next month and the 2018-19 World Sevens Series, which resumes in Dubai in December.

The Gareth Baber-coached team has achieved what no other team has achieved in the past in scoring back to back wins on the circuit. We have a good and a matured squad who are getting used to winning.

The Melrose Cup, which will be contested at the RWCS, is the only silverware left to win on the circuit.

Since taking up the job in October, 2016, Baber now knows how to win tournaments. And the best the Seremaia Tuwai-captained team can do is listen and play to plan designed by the coach. That is one way of avoiding being second best now and again.

Already we came up short twice. We can’t afford to drop the ball in San Francisco again.

OSEA BOLA

Feedback:  oseab@fijisun.com.fj



Five Squares 4th Birthday


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Tower Insurance
FNPF App
Covid 19 - SPC
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper