Vatemo: Any Time For Fiji

Olympian playmaker breaks his silence at the Marist 7s 
27 Mar 2021 13:31
Vatemo: Any Time For Fiji
Star playmaker, Vatemo Ravouvou, during the Fiji Bitter Marist 7s at Bidesi Park, Suva, on March 26, 2021. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Our 2016 Olympic Games gold medal winning playmaker, Vatemo Ravouvou has finally broken his silence.

Ravouvou turned up to play for Life After Rugby (LAR) team in the Fiji Bitter Marist 7s tournament at the ANZ Stadium, Suva, yesterday.

He showed glimpses of his brilliance as a natural playmaker, passing of both hands and the ability to kick-off with either feet.

Speaking to SUNsports, Ravouvou said kickers should take the initiative to do the extras if they are to perfect the art of kickoff.

“For me personally it’s all about communication and that is the key to winning restarts,” he said.

“All the kicker had to do is kick the ball to where it is supposed to be and let the jumpers do their job.

“They’ve to communicate well with the jumpers and also have a very good field vision to see where the jumping pods are and then execute it.”

Ravouvou said a good high ball is enough to give the chasers and the jumper time to contest for the ball.”

“The kickers have to practice in order to be spot on. You don’t just turn up to training and start practicing because that’s time for the coaching staff.

“Kickers should do their extras alone or somewhere else. They need to practice regularly in order to make it perfect.”

He said winning restarts are important because they need to keep the ball and it is less tiring compared to be on the defensive.

Ravouvou said he is always ready to play for Fiji at the Tokyo Olympics, if the need arises.

“If the call comes then I’m ready to play for Fiji anytime if they call, I’m always there,” he said.

“I always have Fiji close to my heart and ready to help the team retain the gold medal we won at the Rio Olympics. Again I’m always ready to play.”

Ravouvou said it’s been a while for him to play sevens since he had been playing fifteens rugby last year.

He starred for the Nadi rugby team when they won the Farebrother Sullivan Trophy against Namosi and successfully defended it against Tailevu.

“Playing sevens now the pace of the game has changed and it is fast now very fast.

“I’ll have to work on my fitness and I know that is a huge challenge for me but I’m working towards it.

“Time will tell if I’m going to wear the white jumper or not.”

Ravouvou said Fijian 7s head coach Gareth Baber contacted him last year when he was in America playing for Utah Warriors in the Major League Rugby.

The competition was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and he had to return and played for Nadi in the Skipper Cup competition.

“The current Fiji squad is a good one and I wish them all the best,” he added.



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