Editorial comment – Finding form

The Fiji 7s team in Hamilton, New Zealand. Picture: SUPPLIED

So we are now left with the reality of having to step up to get automatic qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympics!

That’s the predicament we face as we head across for the next leg of the World Rugby 7s series this weekend in Sydney.

The Ben Gollings-coached side dropped to eighth spot on the WSS after losing to Argentina 10-19 in the quarter-final of the Hamilton 7s in New Zealand last week.

Moving forward, the top four teams from the 2023 series will get automatic qualification to the next Olympics. And we are the defending champions. We have won gold in two Olympic Games. In Sydney this weekend, we are pooled with France, Tonga and Japan with games starting tomorrow.

Gollings said there was still a lot of rugby to be played in the series and there were also a lot of points to be gained this season.

“There are lots of teams who are top rated that are under the pump,” Gollings said.

He used Samoa, the champions in Cape Town, South Africa who played in the Bowl stages in NZ as an example.

“So it kind of shows that competitiveness and that is where consistency is the key for us,” Gollings said.

We raise the issue of consistency and the fact that things have changed so much over the years.

We refer to real time video analysis, emphasis on diet and strategic training. We refer to motivation and emphasis on recovery considering the turn-around time between tournaments in a leg of the series.

This is where commitment, enthusiasm, perseverance and dedication will come in. This is where work on maintaining consistency and a willingness to rise above defeat will factor heavily.

It could even be the difference between winning and losing. Given the calibre of players now playing in the series, the level of exposure to top level games, and very tough opposition, competition is quite high. It sets the stage for an event that produces the best players in the business, and the best 7s action in the world. It is into this scenario that we unleash our warriors every year.

They will need our support always, to give them hope, encouragement, motivation and great confidence in themselves. We have may have hit a brickwall in recent tournaments.

However, we know what we are capable of. We know what our men can do. The challenge is for them to find that rhythm, and believe they can do great things. We say go Fiji, go!

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