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Inspiration from Nawaka

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam,Nadawa, Nasinu
Monday, February 26, 2018

I had a good time watching the Nawaka 7s live thanks to Fiji One.

While some unknown names shone on day two, it was the performance of the Police team which caught many eyes. The Manasa Bari-coached outfit boasted big names in Kurisaru, Railoa, Matai, Keponi Paul, Siti Waqa and Ikanikoda and I feel that Kurisaru, Paul, Waqa and Ikanikoda have what it takes to make the national 7s extended squad.

On the other hand, the likes of Viriviri and Taliga have to put in a lot of effort to make our 7s squad after their Dratabu side went down to Ravuka Sharks in the Bowl final.

Cross of Victory and First Light Taveuni from the Garden Island displayed some excellent rugby skills, but I guess hard luck cost them a victory.

Anyways, congratulations to the brave hearts from the police force, who despite playing with 6 men, worked as a unit to hold on to the onslaught from Cross of Victory Taveuni and snatch a well-deserved win at the final whistle.

However, one thing that worried me was the number of yellow cards dished out to our players for infringements, high tackles and poor discipline. These have to be addressed if we are to address the discipline woes in our 7s team. The 2018 Nawaka 7s is water under the bridge and FRU must seriously start thinking about a 7s series similar to what we had in the early parts of 2000 that saw the birth of a new breed of 7s stars like Ryder, Daunivucu, Volavola and Nanuku and the rise of Fiji 7s.

The BP Oil 7s series then, brought out the best from our 7s teams because they knew that points were at stake.

Teams like Prisons, Vuda, Vio, Namoli, Waimanu, Hydro, Army, Rt Filise and Nawaka were a joy to watch. I am pleading with FRU to start a 7s series and get an extended squad that will fill the vacuum left by the exodus of our 7s stars.

Now that Baber will have to get two squads for the HK and Commonwealth 7s, I am adamant that we have the talents to win gold in the Happy Valley and in Gold Coast, which are happy hunting grounds for the majestic Fijians.

Hence, it is important to assemble a quality extended squad in case such a scenario occurs, we are prepared. Finally, congratulations to Tuva, Waimanu Oldies and Police for winning the U19, golden oldies and cup titles. To the organisers, vinaka vakalevu!

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