Fiji Airways Men's 7s Eroni Sau was named the Rookie of the Year. He was a clear winner in a fan vote ahead of his compatriot Alosio Naduva and Australia's Ben O'Donnell

Photo Gallery



Reaping what you sow

Opinions / Analysis

THE sporting cliché, it’s not over till it is, is a testament of confidence that serves well with Fiji Airways 7s team.


It was just that, when the team pulled one of the biggest win after the sound of the hooter during the Singapore Sevens breathtaking final at the National Stadium on Sunday.

With Fiji trailing 22-21 and Australia were like’ we did it’, the say no attitude Fijians looked to one last big play.

And did it ever come about when referee James Doleman signalled an Aussie knock, all while the Australians thought they had scored a try and the celebrations that had started on the bench.

Fiji get a scrum deep 90 yards in their area.

Jerry Tuiwai wins it, the team plays a nifty few, as Amenoni Nasilasila launches it to Alasio Sovita Naduva, who had by now eyeballed the touchline.

He weaved his way with blistering speed to go airborne before putting it down for a 28-22 game winner.

It was Fiji at its best, the first Singapore Sevens win and what makes it even more interesting is that Fiji won its fourth tournament, three back to back, Vancouver, Hong Kong and Singapore and the very first, the Hamilton Sevens which set in motion the willingness to take their A- plus game to the next level.

To say Fiji has finally found its niche would be an understatement.

It is that element of zeal, the passion and the pride of representing the nation that have every player give their all.

It is also an emotional feel to rise to the occasion on that very tune of ‘Blessing grant, oh God of nations, on the isles of Fiji’, the allegiance to the national anthem that so seems to get the adrenaline going before the players stepped on the field for final game.

The journey to our rise hadn’t been smooth, it had been treacherous on many levels.

It is only the head coach Gareth Baber and the those that around him know what it took to achieve the quadruple title haul.

While he was upfront about the trying times that lay ahead when he took up the job, he had pledged to see Fiji win back its championship status.

Baber’s priority at the outset was to rebuild the team, juggle positions and to forge a winning combination following the departure of some of the marquees from former coach Ben Ryan’s back to back 2014- 2015, 2015-2016 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and the Olympic gold medal winning team.

"It was a work in progress. To identify the players, train and obviously mold them into winners", he said during his first media briefing.

That, he was true to his words.

But the message somehow got muddled up and criticism of all form piled against him and the players when the chip was down.

Hordes called for his firing while just as many took to social media to voice their frustration on Baber’s technical and tactical know how of the game.

The rugby house, the very institution that hired him in first place, though never wavered.

They believed in him, obviously for good reasons.

Just as the players have faith in their coach, the coach has an unerring confidence in the core.

It is this formula that so have Fiji once again rise at their own game, not just winning the fourth tournament but for the first leapfrog past nemesis South Africa to sit atop the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series table.

And after almost 18 months, Baber’s patience and perseverance is reaping what he sow being at the helm.

With the Paris and London Sevens up next, the team is only two legs away from winning the 2017-2018 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Yes, we can.

 

Share

Recent Opinions / Analysis

meter for a website