Series lesson

Fiji Airways Fiji sevens rover Sevuloni Mocenagai pushes a Samoan player away to score the first try in the day one at the Paris Sevens 2018 at Stade Jean Bouin, Paris, France of the last HSBC World Rugby Sevens series. Picture MRTIN SERAS LIMA

NOW that the 2017/2018 World Rugby HSBC World Sevens Series is almost over, it is a good time to ask ourselves a question.

What have we learnt from the 2017/2018 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, if anything?

Among other possible response, that we are a fickle lot?

Some may strongly disagree while some may even agree.

The fact is when our national sevens coach took over from the previous, who had won back-to-back series victories and then capped it off with a gold medal win at the Rio Olympics, we expected a whole lot of things — especially — winning, from the incumbent.

When he did not deliver straight away, criticism came in from all directions, and with that unsought advice too.

Criticism was usually directed to his coaching qualifications, or as some would have it — lack of it, at the level we have recently become accustomed to.

Around the tanoa and yaqona basins, the body governing rugby union in this country was strongly urged to get rid of him because it seemed he did not know his players.

His timing, when using substitutes was not good as certain players should have been introduced earlier into a game.

According to some, he did not understand the rapport certain players had with others and therefore should be in the same run-on team.

Some said he just didn’t have it, to give us what we wanted, what we deserved on the series — victory after victory. Failing that, to be playing in the final of every tournament.

In one word, what was expected was consistency; from every individual player and from the team.

It; criticism, unsought advice and expectation, came from every angle.

While most of us were criticising, and quite loudly too at that, the coach and his team started turning a corner. They started to win tournaments.

Their first win, at the fourth tournament, saw them become the fourth winner on the 2017/2018 series. Then they won another, and another, yet another and still.

What’s more they weren’t just winning, it was the way tight games were being won. Come-from-behind wins with tries scored via spectacular dives.

In the process, they have won back all those who had criticised them and they are once again our team.

Everyone wants to identify with a winner.

Early tomorrow morning, we will know if we have won the 2017/2018 series or not. Regardless of whether we do or don’t, the question remains: What have we learnt about ourselves, while following/criticising our national team?

The answer can be a little step to your becoming a better person.

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