New Zealand Nadi Legends and Nadi Legends in a group picture after the inaugural Joe Lutumailagi Cup game in Nadi yesterday. NZ Nadi won 2-1.

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Confidence? or lack of it

Opinions / Analysis

IT is getting clear by the day that Ben Gollings time with the Fiji men's sevens team are about to come to an end.

And following the 19 consecutive tournament losses, former players are calling for his firing.

Among a chorus of dissidents are Olympic gold medalists, Vatemo Ravouvou and Asaeli Tuivuaka, others include Livai Ikanikoda, Josua Vici, Joeli Lutumailagi, Isake Katonibau, Setareki Bituniyata, Alasio Naduva, Ulaiyasi Lawavou, Pio Tuwai, Waqabaca Kotobalavu and Paula Dranisinukula.

With a concerted show of support, the players believe Gollings is just not cutting it as the coach of the national team.

In unison, former star and captain of the 2016 Rio Olympic gold medal winning team, Osea Kolinisau’s name has been floated as the potential successor.

The winner of HSBC World Series Rugby Sevens 2014–2015 and 2015–2016, is best known for being the most capped player for the Fiji Sevens team and for leading Fiji to two consecutive first-place finishes in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series for the 2014-15 and the 2015-16 seasons.

Kolinisau's coaching experience

Besides leading China women’s sevens to win the Asian Rugby Championship which they hadn’t not won in 23 years, Kiolinisau hasn’t scored on a full-time coaching job.

But the players are adamant that his experience and the knowledge of the game will bring about the much needed bounce in the team and would help them stake a fair claim in the remaining HSBC SVNS tournament and retain the Olympic gold in Paris in July.

Confidence or lack of it

Coaches and players' success are driven on the parallels of two constants, that is confidence.

There's that need for the coach and the players to vest their confidence in each other to get maximum performance.

The 19 tournament losses tilts on the lack of confidence, and with the confidence shy that Fiji men’s team is, and the quality rugby that has been on display, it would be a mammoth task for Koilnisau to jump start the team to its old winning ways.

Build confidence

Confidence, it is said is no stranger to sport. It is usually aligned with mental toughness, perseverance, grit, resolve, courage and tenacity.

All the common traits that we associate with success of a team.

Kolinisau will need to build on it and moving forward, as a team they enjoy from training to their development, allow tactics and techniques to bring the best in them for the greater good of the sport.

It may be a while before the national men’s sevens team rises up the echelons, as there isn’t a quick fix.

And up next is sevens Holy-Grail, the Hong Kong Sevens tournament, a show that is Fiji's to lose.

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