Sale's Sevens Diary - Staying ahead of the game
09 December, 2010
Tuesday 7th December
|Digicel Fiji 7s team manager, Sale Sorovaki. |
The Welcoming Function for all teams was held at the George Town Hall where we were welcomed by the Mayor of George, Bazil Petrus and also by the tournament director, Steven Roos. I took Seru our trainer with me and we travelled to the function with the Samoan and Australian management teams.
There was a band playing (well a man and a woman) and they sang the whole Ipi Tombi album. It was exciting for me as I grew up watching videos and listening to songs from this famous African musical which tells the story of a young black man leaving his village and young wife to work in the mines of Johannesburg.
After the function we headed straight back to the hotel and hit the hay around 9:30 PM.
The tournament in George this year is likely to be a poignant one as it is the last time it will be hosted here for some time as a number of other South African provinces have been lobbying for this sevens tournament to be moved to their respective areas.
Regardless the stadium in George looks wonderful and the surface has been recently re-turfed making it the best rugby ground in South Africa – so I am told. Wednesday 8th December
I attended the Managers’ meeting at 7:00 AM at the King Protea Hotel. This is where the rest of the teams are staying. This is a procedure that all mangers must attend at every tournament for organizers and the IRB to go through logistics and other outstanding matters.
The Namibian team was also welcomed and, as you know, they are in our pool along with Samoa and USA.
At the management meeting IRB referee manager, Keith Lawrence, presented on areas that teams had trouble with in Dubai a week earlier.
I am very impressed with how hard the referees are working. They normally show clips of situations during the game that are either correct or incorrect. Team managers often feel bad or embarrassed when a clip of their team is shown doing the incorrect things.
I must admit, our clips were shown during the meeting doing the correct thing (which was a relief). We just need to transfer that to points on the scoreboard and hopefully winning the tournament.
There is nothing separating the top six teams. We just need to keep playing well, and maybe have a little bit of luck on our side.
The team did some sprint work this morning while Samoa and Zimbabwe had a game on the neighboring field. Samoa have had two replacements flown in. They are also looking good, but we want to travel Business Class next week though (see previous diary article)!
There was also a review of the current format and seeding arrangement which coach Iliesa Tanivula and I attended after dinner. It was very interesting to note that the current IRB format and seeding is taken from the previous three tournaments. That’s why we are pooled with Samoa and England with New Zealand.
There may be some new destinations next year (2011-2012 season) so we may have three tournaments per leg. With that we will need more reserves and may even use the entire bench.
These were ideas (very logical) that were thrown around at the meeting this evening.
It’s easy to see the game of sevens is becoming very popular and more so now with its inclusion in the Olympics in Rio 2016. We just need to ensure we stay ahead of the game. Related articles:
Sale's Sevens Diary - Flight to Cape Town and George
Sale's Sevens Diary - the Burj Khalifa