Analysis

Our 7s Playmakers

Our playmakers will play a key role in our gold medal defence at the Tokyo Olympic Games from July 23 to August 8. They are led by Olympian and halfback
10 Jun 2021 13:34
Our 7s Playmakers
Fijian 7s playmaker Napolioni Bolaca (third from right) directs his team-mates while Waisea Nacuqu (behind) looks on during training at the Sunshine Coast in southern Queensland, Australia, on June 9, 2021.Photo: FRU Media

Our playmakers will play a key role in our gold medal defence at the Tokyo Olympic Games from July 23 to August 8.

They are led by Olympian and halfback Seremaia (Jerry) Tuwai who is also gunning to win his second gold medal along with 2016 Rio team-mate and first five eight Kitione Taliga.

The others in the squad are Waisea Nacuqu, Napolioni Bolaca and Livai Ikanikoda.

They are coach Gareth Baber’s brain trusts.

These players know and understand the importance of making the right decisions when playing under extreme pressure or in tight situations.

We have players with variety of skills but to be a consistent performer, the team require a playmaker, who has the vision, the tactical acumen to manage their tactics while on the move, and the ability to create opportunities out of nothing.

The likes of Tuwai, Taliga, Bolaca and Nacuqu have proved themselves over the years that they are match-winners.

Legendary playmakers like the King of Sevens Waisale Serevi, William Ryder and Tomasi Cama (Snr) have set the standard for these players over the years.

Now the onus are on the players to create their own legacy by defending our gold medal status at the Olympic Games.

Again, our playmakers will be the team’s brain, the coach’s eyes and ears out on the pitch where they call the shots and orchestrate our game plan.

When under pressure, they are the ones to exert control and navigate our way out of danger.

Playmakers are important and they work on that narrow corridor in the middle where they engage the opposing team and make it hard for them to defend. This is because they’re constantly changing the tempo and the pace of the game when on attack or how we going to attack during a match.

With the experience and maturity our playmakers there is no doubt that we will be a force to be reckoned with during the competition. Over the past few months our playmakers have been working twice as hard in making sure that they are ready to do their job.

 

Playing style

Tuwai is known for his agility, decision-making and his ability to step defenders without losing speed. He’s also notable for his commitment on the physical side of the game, being a force at the breakdown and making an impact with his defence, despite his size.

Dubbed as the future of sevens rugby, Bolaca is a young and entertaining player with a lot of potential.

He has a good attacking and defensive game. A good communicator on the pitch,

Bolaca was awarded the World Rugby Impact Player Award and Pressure Player Award and will be a delight to watch.

Nacuqu, is a ‘game breaker’ and on many occasions scored match winning tries for Fiji. Apart from his speed, he is elusive and has good kicking skills.

Nacuqu, is the team’s X-factor. Baber at one time likened him as the Diego Maradona of sevens rugby.

Taliga, is a special player who can play in all backline positions.

He has a good attack and defensive style of playing. He loves to be physical around the ruck areas. A good decision maker and ability to control the pace of the game.

Like Taliga, his Police team-mate Ikanikoda plays the similar way as well. The Lomanikoro, Rewa, native’s strength is his ability to absorb pressure when on defence.

For now, it’s a matter of fine-tuning them in the PacificAus Sports Oceania 7s competition in Townsville from July 25-27 before they set foot on the Land of the Rising Sun, on a mission to do our country proud once again.

Feedbacksimione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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