Editorial comment – Exciting moments in London
4 June, 2018, 8:09 am
WHAT a beauty that was! The power and physicality of the national sevens side was mermerising in the quarter-final win over Canada last night.
If there were factors that made Fiji fans fist the air in jubilation, they included pace, aggression, athleticism, confidence and physicality.
That bit stood out like the monolithic Joskes Thumb visible from across the Suva Harbour.
It made a visible difference on our way through to the quarter-finals last night.
The weather was perfect. It had all the ingredients of a day for exciting sevens action.
What happened on the field was exciting.
National coach Gareth Baber’s focus on building momentum and confidence around the ruck is reaping rewards.
You can sense great anticipation and confidence in broken play.
We were aggressive in the rucks and our defensive shape held up well. Our support play was solid.
When it came to the crunch, we were physical in the break-downs. Our hard men were intimidating on attack.
But as South African coach Neil Powell said after their quarter-final victory over the New Zealand All Blacks last night, the trick to overcome strong sides is to hang on to possession. That means doing the little things right across the field.
It means keeping the ball alive and toughening up in the breakdowns.
With four titles — Hamilton 7s, Vancouver 7s, Hong Kong 7s and Singapore 7s — and a 22-match winning streak, the national side is performing better than it has ever had.
As our front page story reveals, to prepare the team for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Commonwealth Games and the Rugby World Cup 7s, Baber and his coaching team spent their off season developing the strength and power of the players.
This meant diligence and dedication to time spent in the gym.
These two elements, he said, were the basis to any athletic physical program and the attention Fiji gave to this has created a profile of the game we now play.
Fiji has been undefeated in 22 matches after the completion of pool games at the HSBC London 7s.
We were heading to the semi-finals when this edition went to press last night.
Whatever the result today, there can be no doubts about the fact that fans have many reasons to be happy about our preparations for the World Cup later this year.
The national side has a 84 per cent winning streak and in the 51 matches they have played since the start of the season to pool play at the London 7s, they have won 43 and lost 8.
Now that is something to think about. Go Fiji, go.