Editorial comment – Propping up our team

The Fiji Airways Fiji 7's gladiators after the training at Elliott Park at Dawton in Hamilton. Picture: RAMA

The stage is set for an exciting of weekend of sevens rugby in Hamilton, New Zealand.

That’s the general consensus in Hamilton anyway.

When all things are said and done, it was difficult to shrug aside the powerful presence of Fijian fans when the teams had their meet and greet outing with fans at the Hamilton Garden Centre yesterday.

Hamilton has been a strong hunting ground for the national side.

National coach Gareth Baber knows that. The fans know that.

They have been converging on Hamilton annually now for a number of years, bringing life to our campaigns in New Zealand, and we turn up today as defending champions.

It’s this presence that can serve as a catalyst for dominance on the pitch by the national side.

Again, this weekend, beginning today, thousands of fans will be turning up the ante, hoping to motivate the national side to deliver a powerful blow in Hamilton. The draws are set.

We are now waiting for the start of our first game against Samoa at 12.47pm today.

We take on the might of Australia at 6.35pm and come up against Argentina at 11.57am tomorrow.

There are no quarter-finals this weekend.

That means every team will be coming out with all guns firing.

It actually sets the stage for some exciting stuff right from the first game of the day. There will be interest on how we fare in this format.

There are no minnows anymore in the abbreviated version of rugby.

That places pressure on the big guns to come off with their top game.

The national side will head in though buoyed by some lung power.

There can be no doubts about the importance of such moments to Fijians.

This is a sport that brings us together as a nation.

This is when every imaginary demarcation line is cast aside, and Fijians unite to back our team.

Back home, from the coast to the highest mountains, thousands of Fijians will tune in to this weekend’s games.

We feel it when the national side wins. That’s when we savour victory to the brim. Our emotions go on a rollercoaster ride when we lose though.

Such is the power of sevens rugby.

In saying that though, there is a refreshing feel about our campaign.

Win or lose, it’s that special aspect of our attachment to this wonderful game that is inspiring.

It’s that uplifting feeling, one that embraces unity, a sense of confidence, and great expectation that makes our attachment to this game all the more special.

It’s a love affair that transcends time, and will continue to motivate many youngsters, giving them something to strive for in their lives.

There is hope, and there is belief in our team.

The challenge is now firmly on Baber and the team to do their best.

That’s all we can ask for.

Give Hamilton their best shot!

Go Fiji, go.

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