Picking up the pieces

The Fiji 7s team in a huddle.Picture: WORLD RUGBY/MIKE LEE

The national side succumbed to Argentina 21-24 and came back to defeat France 24-14 in the final round of pool games at the Dubai 7s yesterday.

It wasn’t enough though to guide us through to the cup quarter-finals.

In the end, with all teams in our pool having the same number of wins, entry into the cup quarters was decided by points.

We bombed out of the cup quarters for the first time in the history of the event in Dubai.

It wasn’t a pleasant experience for Fijian fans. As much as we want our team to beat every other side in their path, and enter the cup finals, the harsh reality is that the abbreviated code of rugby union is actually becoming very competitive.

When all things are said and done, what matters is what happens on game day.

That’s when teams must come up with their A-game. That’s when the weeks of preparation must count for something.

That’s when all thoughts are set aside, for the ultimate target, which is to get victory at the highest pedestal.

Fijian fans can be very demanding. We must accept the fact that the game has developed in leaps and bounds.

Teams have improved greatly and technology, and tested diets, and training programs mean teams can get the edge they want.

That means focused training can reap rewards at the end of the day. We cannot just rely on our flair to win games.

There must be a holistic approach that embraces every area and facet of the game. With next year being a crucial year for all sevens teams, attention will no doubt focus on how well teams are preparing this season and in the early part of the new year.

The Olympic Games is definitely on the minds of every coach. That is when the focus of attention shifts to Japan.

For now, though, attention will now shift to Capetown in South Africa where we head to for our next round of games.

We have succumbed in this one. We must remain optimistic and positive as we look ahead to Capetown.

Let’s face it.

Dubai wasn’t a happy hunting ground anyway.

The challenge though is on our team to stand up, and get back into the hunt.

We can either get over this dismal start to our campaign, or pick up the pieces, and look ahead with optimism.

Go Fiji, go.

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