South Africa won the 2016-2017 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Championship. The Blitzbox beat Scotland 15-5 in a tense final at the Stade Jean Bouin, France on Sunday.



The special goal

Opinions / Analysis

It took a special player to score the special goal when it mattered.


Nicholas Naidu used the opportunity to punish the ‘Green Machine' and end Suva’s 5 year winless IDC drought.

There was almost a poignancy about the scene played out in the dying few minutes for Nadi as Naidu curved free-kick sealed their fate. The pesky little players’ timely goal was a masterpiece, one that the fans would relive for year's to come.

It all happened after a horrible defensive gaffe by Nadi youngster Abdullah Nasim. The towering central back took-out midfielder Rocket Ismail on the top of the 18 meter box and that set the stage for drooled hit.

The kick swayed beyond the reach of Nadi goalkeeper Wasim Khan and on route gave him a slight knuckler breeze before it found the back of the net.

The goal was not simply a Suva win; it could be one that sets the platform for years' of success.

It was a joyous scene to see the Suvan's wear that smile after 5 years and with Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in the bleachers, the public announcer of all seemed more thrilled about the goal then the liberator himself.

Not that the guest of honour didn’t like the spectacle of the cheering fans but the fact the grouchy one liner from a lime churning official made it worse for the partisan losing fans.

While both teams made for a quality final, the fact the eleventh hour withdrawal of Calgary Tavua form the games was quite the rub on faces of the Fijian Soccer League of Greater Vancouver head honchos. The no show had them arbitrarily reschedule the fixture without even consulting the respective district delegates.

The changes didn't fit well at least with the Nadi FC, who via email message made its position as crystal clear. The language was must have been educational for the novice. The FSLGV eventually awarded the points to teams in the pool.

The lessons learned for all the right reasons as this is the latest of many failures that keep stacking up against the Fijian Soccer League of Greater Vancouver.

They seem to ignore the significance of the event, which hold high in realms of local soccer and instead of rejuvenating the historical tournament with lucrative prize money and so forth, the league is reaching out to out of province teams to add numbers for the competition.

The no show was a celebration for the proponents of change.

It also took a hard heart not to feel sympathy for the FSLGV, who had hoped to hear the Prime Minister take to the stage and ‘say a few words’ but ‘if he is accepting’ phrase by the public announcer is anything, then it could well have been the turn off- for  PM Bainimarama, who took a pass both on addressing the fans and extending his congratulatory message publicly to the winner.

The fans would’ve wanted it but this is a fate that can befall the very best and the FSLGV is no special.

For Nadi it certainly can learn a lesson on how to foster home-grown talent for the long term and it is to be hoped that when Suva’s party is over and the heads are clearer, they take another decisive run at the trophy that has their imprints the most.

But don’t second guess Suva’s fully merited win gives this IDC the right final flourish.

Suva coach Chandar Dip Singh summed it up well "It was a sweet victory and to beat a chronic champion feels great".Soccer great and Nadi coach Ivor Evans made a calculated comment by saying "You win some and lose some". A settled analysis from soccer's greatest know-how's.

The buzz of celebration though around the trophy presentation was the sound of acclaim for a job well done for Singh's boys.

 

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