8 April, 2017, 12:00 am
From the backstreets of Newtown in Nasinu, the rugged highlands of Navosa, across the many far flung islands that make up the Fiji Group, to the streets of Hong Kong, there is a shared thought. Wouldn’t it be good to top the Hong Kong 7s tournament this weekend?
You don’t need a degree to realise the impact this massive event has on the minds of Fijian fans.
That shared thought is what drives many Fijian fans to stay focused this weekend. It is the motivational factor that is keeping fans enthusiastic about our chances.
The reality is that we aren’t the hot favourites on paper.
That honour is reserved for South Africa and England.
On this stage though, at this special place that is so close to the hearts and minds of Fijian fans around the globe, anything can happen.
This is where dreams are born, and it is where our hopes and aspirations were carried with great pride over the years by the many men who have been fortunate to don the white jumper with the coconut tree emblem etched on their left breast.
It is almost bigger than any sporting event on the planet. Wellâ€¦ at least not as big as actually winning the event though.
But as we brace ourselves for our next two games today, perhaps we should be cautious.
There are no minnows anymore.
As former national winger Tomasi Cama said yesterday at the Happy Valley, Hong Kong has a special place in the hearts of Fijian fans. That is why he believes it is important for the players to do well this weekend.
Cama made no bones about what playing at the venue meant for him as a player.
He shed tears every time we lost.
The event, he said, was seen as a special one and players worked hard to end it on a high, which then doubled as a gift for the children back home, many of whom would by then be celebrating the Christian Palm Sunday.
Whatever the result this weekend, one thing is for sure, Fiji almost comes to a standstill every time we run onto the field.
That is when Fijians will shrug aside every imaginary demarcation line from ethnicity, religion to gender, in support of our team.
Sevens rugby has the amazing attraction and power of uniting people and building bridges across divides.
That is why it is special. That is why the Hong Kong 7s is special.
Let us enjoy the weekend, hope for the best and be the eighth man. Perhaps we may just will them on to a positive finish.
Go Fiji, go.