Rugby

McNulty’s Time With Naitasiri Helps Shape His 7s Game

  The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team retained the London 7s title but they had an early scare in the Cup quarterfinal against Ireland where they fought back from a
30 May 2019 12:05
McNulty’s Time With Naitasiri Helps Shape His 7s Game
Ireland 7s prop Harry McNulty tries to fend a Fiji Airways Fijian 7s player. Photo: Irish Times

 

The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team retained the London 7s title but they had an early scare in the Cup quarterfinal against Ireland where they fought back from a 12-0 deficit to win 33-24.

The Fijians lost two early restarts which saw the Irish ran in two quick tries. But to the players who played for Naitasiri in the team, the Irish forward who claimed both restarts needed no introduction.

He is Harry McNulty, the man who spearheaded their attacks which time and again found holes in the Fijian defence.

For the big Ireland 7s forward he is indebted to former national 7s selector and Naitasiri coach Sailosi Naiteqe Snr who brought him to Fiji, last year to help sharpen his 7s skills.

The 26-year-old McNulty spent two months in the country and even camped with the Naitasiri rugby team during their HFC Bank Farebrother Challenge campaign.

McNulty met Naiteqe Snr in 2016 during a kava session in their hotel room in Amsterdam after a 7s tournament.

Naiteqe who is now based in Cairns, Australia said they were telling stories and singing in the room which excited McNulty.

“He was happy to be with us and was enjoying our serenading and stories,” Naiteqe told SUNsports.

“We continued our communication through Facebook and after the Sevens Rugby World Cup in USA last year, he wanted to come to Fiji after reading Ben Ryan’s book.”

Harry McNulty scrapping coconut while in Fiji last year.

Harry McNulty scrapping coconut while in Fiji last year.

SAND DUNES

“When he arrived in Fiji he wanted to go to the sand dunes and try it out, after running the sand dunes for the first time he said ‘no wonder Fiji were the Olympic champions.’

“After two weeks in Fiji he wanted to sleep in a Fijian village, so he went to Taveuni for four days. He returned to join the Naitasiri team’s camp in Navuso.

“We were on a one-week camp preparing for our game against Nadroga for the Farebrother trophy,” Naiteqe added.

SKILLS TRAINING

Naiteqe said he helped McNulty on how to create space and make those off loads.

“He likes to play hard as he trained with the Naitasiri team.

“McNulty was amazed with the support of the rugby fans here because in Ireland only their players’ families come to support them.

“Another area I worked with him was the off load drills, ball support and ball carrier using a triangle formation from supporting players.   “I saw that he worked on that in London and was amazing.”

FAVOURITES

While in Naitasiri, McNulty loved his roti and curry but his favourite drink was kava.

“He always say Fijian kava, tsunami full-full,” Naiteqe added.

At this weekend’s Paris 7s, McNulty’s Irish side are in Pool A with the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team, Argentina and England.

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Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

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