Analysis | SPORTS

Lesson from LA 7s

We’ve the most talented sevens’ players in the world but at the same time we’ve to remember the adage: “Talent win games but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”
03 Mar 2020 09:35
Lesson from LA 7s
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s rover Vilimoni Botitu scores a try against Australia in the Cup semifinal of the Los Angeles Sevens tournament at the Dignity Health Sports Park, USA on March 2, 2020. Fiji won 43-7. Photo: World Rugby

Analysis:

The Blitzboks have taught the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team a valuable lesson that they need to play right to the final whistle.

The Fijians were leading 19-7 at halftime and again were holding a handy 24-12 lead midway the second half before they virtually threw the game away.

The South Africans clawed their way back to tie the scores at 24-24 on fulltime before scoring the winning try during extra time.

Yes, the Blitzboks almost did the same thing against us at last month’s Sydney Sevens Cup final.

Remember, they were 12-0 down at halftime but managed to score 10 unanswered points in the second half to give us a fright.

Captain Meli Derenalagi said it right, that they are still learning and are hoping for a better performance at the Vancouver Sevens when it gets underway at the BC Place Stadium, this weekend.

So, we wish the Fijians well but let’s take a look at three important lessons from the Los Angeles Sevens that they should take heed of:

PLAY SMART RUGBY

Staying ahead of our opponents we need to be smart in our approach. This was what coach Gareth Baber had reiterated before the Los Angeles Sevens got underway.

But in the second half of the Cup final yesterday, with a 24-12 lead and counting down to the final whistle, we somehow lost it and became very casual in our approach with wrong decisions made.

This resulted in a poor kick-off soon after that, which was the turning point of the game.

Then followed by the messing up of their own lineout throw, when time was up. They lost possession and the rest is now history.

RE-STARTS

When Derenalagi came off the field, we were back to square one. We lost possession at the re-starts and were backpedalling.

We need to have a Plan B, if Derenalagi is rested, then who is next? Josua Vakurinabili and Sevu Mocenacagi have showed time and again that they are capable and why can’t we use them a lot to bring a sort of variation and take some load away from our captain. Food for thought perhaps!

CUT OUT INDIVIDUAL PLAY

Baber had been emphasising that they need to work and play as a team.

This is usually tested when the pressure is on and the need for them to play as a unit and stick to the game plan.

South Africa showed that when they survived a 12-10 scare against USA in the Cup quarterfinals and then against us in the final.

We’ve the most talented sevens’ players in the world but at the same time we’ve to remember the adage: “Talent win games but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”
Edited by Lusiana Tuimaisala

Feedbackleonec@fijisun.com.fj

Fijisun E-edition
Total Excellium
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper