So close yet so far

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam,Otahuhu, Auckland | Tuesday, December 12, 2017
I MUST say the efforts of our boys in Cape Town need to be applauded.
Vatemo Ravouvou tries to get free against USA at the Cape Town 7s 2017- Photo Martin Seras Lima
Vatemo Ravouvou tries to get free against USA at the Cape Town 7s 2017- Photo Martin Seras Lima

As predicted the Blitzboks edged us by a single try, but what a contest it was.

We matched the Blitzboks and a little bit of luck and patience would have settled things towards the dying seconds of the exciting clash, but the Boks did enough to become our nemesis.

We would have avoided the hosts had we been clinical in pool play and not lost to Singapore 7s champions Canada, but all is history now.

The focus must immediately shift towards Hamilton and Sydney if we are to make an impact on the WRSS points table.

It's far from over and fans must not get too disheartened as Fiji, South Africa, NZ and England remain title contenders.

In the buildup to the next leg, Mr Baber must stress on the importance of playing as a team, making one on one tackles, communicating more often on the field and supporting each other in attack and defence.

Our rate of passes completed was way below teams such as Africa, Argentina, Canada and NZ and had it not been for some individual brilliance, we would not have made it this far.

For the next leg, our players must be psyched up to be ruthless during the ruck and maul and when tackling the opposition.

Perhaps our boys can watch the footage of the 2017 Fiji versus Blitzboks clash in Happy Valley and how we floored the Boks 22-0 because we made those big hits and played as a unit rather than individually.

The way our boys raced to a three try lead was amazing, but then lapse in concentration and poor defence let us badly.

However, the way our boys bounced back from the disappointing loss to beat England and USA was superb.

Taking on the hosts was always going to be tough but the performance of the boys showed that given more game time Fiji is going to be a tough nut to crack.

As I conclude, a big vinaka vakalevu to Baber and the boys for taking on the challenge to represent our beloved and rugby crazy nation.

It's easy to criticise our players' performance, but fans must realise that we are in the rebuilding stage and the hardest part is donning that white jumper.

It took the All Blacks almost a year to win a title but they did not panic.

Please, let's support the current team management and our heroes!

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