A tough challenge

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam,Nadawa, Nasinu | Friday, January 26, 2018
We have to accept the fact that Fiji is in a tough pool in Sydney. Our boys face underdogs Russia, the improving Samoans and series leaders NZ. Apart from the tough pool the huge Sydney crowd will test our boys' character.
Jasa Veremalua goes straight the defence during the Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team training at the Leichhardt Oval ground in Sydney, Australia on Wednesday, January 24, 2018. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU
Jasa Veremalua goes straight the defence during the Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team training at the Leichhardt Oval ground in Sydney, Australia on Wednesday, January 24, 2018. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

The passionate fans, outrageous costumes and continuous try scoring action make up the ingredients for a melting pot of rugby 7s madness in Sydney. Although Fiji will not lack moral support, it is important that our boys acclimatise quickly to the crowd and weather.

This will have a huge impact on the team's performance as we have a relatively new squad. The Sydney 7s will determine our position in the overall standing and if we have to make a statement then a win in Sydney is necessary.

Last year our performance in Sydney was heartbreaking. After bulldozing Samoa 40-0 in the first pool match, Fiji was no match for the Welsh going down 28-15. I remember watching the delayed coverage of this match at Sydney Airport via my route to Singapore, London and Geneva.

A lot was at stake in the last pool match and our boys put up a brave performance to beat France 31-7. Fans lined up with huge expectations for the mouth-watering cup quarter-final clash against NZ but our boys could not find their rhythm and lost 24-21.

We found ourselves in the Trophy competition, which we secured after outmuscling Argentina 38-21 and USA 35-12. Fiji collected 13 points at the conclusion of the Sydney 7s.

The Boks made it back to back after their victory in Wellington, thumping England 29-14 while NZ finished third after defeating the hosts 29-14.

If our boys top their pool they will meet the runner-up from pool D, preferably USA and barring any upset our boys could face their 3rd test against Africa in the semis and the All Blacks in the final.

If we finish second we will face the winner of Pool D, preferably the hosts and set up a semi-final against England. If all goes well, we could face either NZ or South Africa in the final. On the other hand, Fiji is bound to meet the All Blacks if both teams win the eliminations. Excitement among fans is increasing and I am banking on our boys to deliver something special for our beloved Fiji.

All the best to our boys and not forgetting our Fijiana! Noqu Viti sa yawa! We can do it. Toso Viti!

Home | Top