SPORTS

Jittery Start To Keep Us Awake

Despite trailing 14-12 at halftime and then 19-12 at the start of the second half the side, showed that they have got what it takes to come back and win.
27 Jul 2021 10:00
Jittery Start To Keep Us Awake
Team Fiji men’s rugby sevens captain Jerry Tuwai shakes hand with the Japanese players after their 24-19 win at the Tokyo Stadium on July 26, 2021. Photo: Tokyo Olympic 2020

It’s not over yet for the Team Fiji men’s rugby sevens team after their 24-19 win over Japan in their Pool B opener of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Despite trailing 14-12 at halftime and then 19-12 at the start of the second half the side, showed that they have got what it takes to come back and win.

It was their first game and it will take them a bit of time to settle down.

However, there have been some learnings, which they must work on before today’s clash against Great Britain and then to the main quarterfinals.

These learnings are:

LEADERS MUST STAND UP

Meli Derenalagi, showed that during the halftime break when they were trailing 14-12. The lanky forward hugged the disappointed players and urged them on.

And when he took the field, he was always communicating with the other players even when they were a man down after Asaeli Tuivuaka, was yellow carded.

Unfortunately, Derenalagi missed out on that try, right on the hooter, but he definitely showed what leadership is all about.

It’s time for the rest of the senior players to step-up when the going gets tough.

RELUCTANCE TO ACT

Coach Gareth Baber said, they are playing six finals and the players must act up to it.

There was this reluctance in the starting seven, to contest the restart, breakdown and even make their tackle count.

It looked like they had underestimated the hosts and got what they needed in order to stay awake at the Olympics.

STICK TO ONE COMBO

This is not the time to experiment our combination. If we are doing it to confuse the opposition then we must be prepared, if things may backfire.

The coach should stick to his main line-up and bring in the changes if really needed.

Let’s not forget this proved disastrous at the 2018 Sevens World Cup in San Francisco.

Like I had said before, we still have what it takes to defend our gold medal.

It’s a matter of identifying our mistakes, learn from it and then taking our game to the next level.

Edited by Sereana Salalo

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj



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