Editorial comment – Bring it on
25 May, 2019, 10:12 am
The stage is set for an action-packed weekend of sevens rugby.
Today we start our final assault on the top prize in World Rugby’s 7s Series.
We head into the famous Twickenham Stadium as defending champions.
That will not mean much though when the tournament gets underway.
That’s when every team enters on a level platform.
The game has taken leaps and bounds in terms of development.
We were once kings of the code.
We were once the undisputed champions of the abbreviated version of the game.
The years have been kind on the rest of the pack it seems.
They have developed over the years, so much so that there are no minnows in sevens rugby. In a sport we once dominated, we are now almost on level terms with other teams.
There is a little touch of a difference though. Small it may be, but it is a difference that stands us in good stead.
It differentiates us from the rest of the pack to a certain extent.
We pack natural flair.
We pack natural skills that seem ready-packaged for this version of the sport.
It seems we have a factory hidden somewhere in Fiji that churns out a line of talented youngsters just raring to get a foot into the big world of sevens rugby.
No sooner does one giant leave that we unveil a budding rookie who packs a punch and looks to be the next big thing on the circuit.
Think of youngsters like Vilimoni Botitu and Meli Derenalagi, both members of the national under-20 15s squad.
This is why we will always be a threat on the circuit.
That little edge is what sets us apart from the rest of the field.
It’s the difference that can matter in the end.
That’s something fans will be banking on this weekend to see us through to the elimination stages of the event.
We must get past this stage and win the London 7s to pave the way for victory this season.
There is no other way, unless we get to meet the leaders, the Mike Friday coached USA early and topple them, or hope they do not get to the eliminations, and then we win the event.
But then the challenge is how well we can maintain form on to the next tournament in Paris next weekend.
But we proved in the recent Asian leg, when we backed ourselves after the win in Hong Kong, to reach the final in Singapore the next weekend, that it can be done.
That used to be a major hurdle for us.
We have finally come of age it seems.
Fans will no doubt be keen to see that form in play this weekend and the next.
It is the final hurdle.
Our players need to believe in themselves.
National coach Gareth Baber must instil in his men the belief and confidence that they have our support.
Go Fiji, go. Bring on Kenya, France and Samoa.