Winning Gold in the World Sevens Tournament

March 4, 2024

It’s been a great start to my working week: we won the HSBC Sevens tournament in LA, beating GB 21-0 and the sun is shining ! Double smiles 🙂

It was very special to see the lads lift their first sevens championship  trophy for 19 years earlier today.  Although we had already beaten team GB in the pool stages, you can never assume anything in sport!

The only negative has been seeing some of the comments referring to our 2023 RWC captain and I  quote in particular some from someone I thought would not resort to such behaviour:
– the tries he is scoring is nothing special, I’ve seen players from all the countries playing in the sevens scoring similar tries. He might be a brilliant player in 15s, but in the sevens, he is just another normal player.

– […]before he decided to join sevens. Just to try and win an Olympic medal.

I haven’t even bothered to counter such negativity in return; neither has anyone else in the group. If the selectors are that silly to include someone who does not make a contribution to the team, both on and off the pitch then we have a problem Houston…

I’ve also been disappointed to see reports on social media that Maxime Lucu has been receiving negative and hate comments. The problem with our current form isn’t the fault of him alone or indeed any other individual player in the team. Don’t pick on him because he isn’t Toto and remember also that he has (perhaps never, until 2024) had to come onto the field without a convincing lead on the scoreboard; it’s a different mindset.

At club level, a friend who both trains and umpires at a local football club mentioned that there was an altercation at one of his club matches last weekend which required him to spend time on his Sunday completing a report for the board. so this behaviour isn’t limited to what we see on our TV screen.

Yes we are all passionate about the Club we support and often look for reasons why they aren’t winning, but I do try not to look to pull down a team that performed better on the day. Our elite sport team members and the referees get their places in both national and international teams because they have performed consistently at the highest level and undertake the necessary ongoing development and training. Yes they will have off days and sometimes much longer. I was reminded of this earlier this week seeing the Biarritz rugby team at the bottom of their league and up for sale…

A reminder to us all that if you can’t be kind, it’s best to be quiet. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a conversation about matches and your opinions of what went on. Mistakes will be made, penalties go by the wayside because the umpires didn’t spot them; everyone can be an armchair referee but on  the ground, it’s different.

Perhaps also a time to remember the true meaning of sportsmanship, something that I still see in rugby on the field at all levels thank goodness!

 

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