Let's hope for the best

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu | Tuesday, December 5, 2017
A lot has been said by armchair critics with regards to the performance of our 7s team. The 7s maestro said it was important to maintain our discipline and maintain this team as it was one of the best prepared teams.
Jerry Tuwai attacks for Fiji against Australia in the last pool play in HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2017/2018, in Dubai. Photo : Martin Seras Lima
Jerry Tuwai attacks for Fiji against Australia in the last pool play in HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2017/2018, in Dubai. Photo : Martin Seras Lima

However, according to the 7s wizard our boys need to minimise on mistakes and capitalise on possessions. Now I rate that a smart call coming from a player who has led Fiji to two RWC 7s wins and an overall 2005-'06 series win. Then I was a little amused to read comments from some local experts. Fiji lost to the most experienced team in the series and that by five points and one try and some controversial calls by the Scottish ref, who got carried away by his team's loss to Fiji in the Cup quarters.

If one looks at the Blitzboks squad, it has all the big names that a coach needs to win tournaments. For instance, Africa has played in 54 tournaments and 279 matches while Kyle Brown has played in 59 tournaments and 291 matches. Chris Dry has played in 63 tournaments and 304 matches while Preez has played in 56 tournaments and 281 matches. Geduld, Kok, Ruhan Nel and Kwagga have played in 31, 30, 22 and 29 tournaments and 158, 148, 110 and 141 matches respectively. Gas man Senatla has played in 34 tournaments and 173 matches. Captain Snyman has played in 48 tournaments and 213 matches. Plus the Boks have a 7s academy and an experienced player and mastermind in 7s Guru Neil Powell.

Now compare their experience with our seasoned campaigners in Jasa, Domolailai, Wise (who got injured), Ravouvou, Nasilasila and Tuwai. Then we had new faces in Josua, Nasoko, Paula, Cakaubalavu, Kunavula, Stewart and Sau, who was handed a two match suspension prior to the mouth-watering clash. This would have dampened the spirits of any team knowing that your speed merchant would not feature in the much needed win. Despite this our boys played well and had they contested the breakdown aggressively and ruthlessly and given each other support, we would have battered the Boks. Sau was shown a yellow card for a high tackle against Scotland, but what about the off the ball tackle on Tuwai. No action was taken and Kok escaped punishment. Anyways that's all history and what's important for our boys is to remain focused on the task ahead and make those one on one tackles count. And for the fans, Ryan is history. Let's hope for the best and continue to support Baber and our boys as they land in Cape Town!

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