Fiji Sun

Sevens rugby


Much has been said about Fiji's campaign at the IRB World Sevens Series, with the team and management being castigated for its performanc­e.

I wish to add my voice to congratula­te the team for a well-fought campaign and for sweating blood and tears and flying Fiji's flag during the series.

Yours is an unenviable task, which you have performed above and beyond the call of duty. The final result was unfortunat­e and a heartbreak­er.

But, five tournament wins in a single season is a very, very superb performanc­e.

For a series to be decided in the final tournament and final match tells you how competitiv­e it has been.

However, I wish to remind the hardcore fans and the Fijian public to spare a thought for the boys and their families the next time you wish to harangue them in public.

It is very easy to criticise the team from the comfort of your living room and around the tanoa.

It's quite a different matter when you're in the field, getting hit from all angles, running against time, trying to evade tackles and setting your teammates in play.

A wise man once said: “Those who judge don't understand and those who understand never judge.”

The same principle applies here.

If you haven't experience­d the grind and the attrition involved, don't criticise.

Instead, I plead with the rugby-loving public in Fiji.

The World Sevens Series is done and dusted. It's history.

Let's get behind this team and back them to the Rugby 7s World Cup.

That's where the focus should be.

Let's give Baber, the management team and the team itself space to train and prepare. And let's do what we, the fans, do best. Support our team, win or lose.

I also wanted to add that we Fiji fans are a fickle bunch.

We castigate the team when it loses, but we can't wait to turn on the TV the next time they play.

Let's spare a thought for the team and their families.

And here's one for comparison … they get paid $50 a day when they are in camp in Fiji and $100 a day when they are on tour overseas. The Blitzbokke have a $7.5 million annual budget for 7s rugby and their players have six-figure contracts. The All Blacks 7s have a $6m annual budget.

And we are playing and beating these teams. Imagine if our players are paid that much. I rest my case.

But, my plea is let's support this team. Come hell or high water.

And let's stop being bad losers.

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