It’s official. Canada is working on empty.
There are solely fumes left within the tank however the journey just isn’t over.
It was inevitable. When it lastly occurred it regarded and felt ugly. On the most important Sevens stage of the season, Canada capitulated.
The coach knew it was coming. Damian McGrath was pressured to concede, “our lack of preseason caught up with us, but there are no excuses.”
He is proper. There aren’t any excuses however there are causes. What occurred in Hong Kong was a humiliation to Canadian rugby and an absence of correct preparation will at all times come again to chunk you.
In sport, as in life, you get what you pay for. If you would like the very best, it’s costly however the funding is worth it when the onerous work pays off, translating into success on the sphere.
Funding is a two-way road. Elite athletes should immerse themselves, physique and soul. There aren’t any half measures. Expertise solely will get you to this point; sheer grind, psychological and bodily preparation and private sacrifice make the distinction.
Funding should additionally come from the highest. Governing our bodies are there to advertise their sport and help their athletes. Sadly, the effectively documented civil warfare between Rugby Canada and its males’s sevens staff has come house to roost.
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Two weeks preparation for a gruelling seven month, 10-stop tour was by no means going to chop it. The results are plain for all to see. It’s a good distance again from final place.
There are nonetheless three occasions remaining. This weekend the circuit strikes on to Singapore, the location of Canada’s most well-known Sevens second. Within the Spring of 2017, the Canadians lastly planted their flag on prime of the world, successful the Singapore Sevens.
The triumph was no fluke. Canada overcame Sevens heavyweights New Zealand and England en path to the ultimate. It then needed to maintain its nerve to outlast the People in an exciting championship recreation.
Barely a month later, the Canadians have been again on the rostrum. Within the season finale they beat the U.S. once more to say a bronze medal in London. The way forward for Canadian Sevens rugby appeared assured and the prospects have been vibrant.
Canada has by no means once more made the rostrum.
Paradoxically, the People have made large strides ahead to guide the World Collection standings and are in place to lock up an Olympic berth with the suitable mixture of leads to Singapore.
American planning pays off
The People just lately launched a full-time residency program for its gamers on the U.S. Olympic coaching web site in California. There are additionally locations for its main academy gamers, but to make their nationwide staff debuts.
McGrath famous the announcement with a heavy dose of English sarcasm.
“We can only dream” he tweeted on the time.
Whereas Canadians have been bickering concerning the very relevance of Sevens rugby itself, the People have been planning for Tokyo 2020.
So to Singapore – the place Olympic goals might turn into actuality. Along with the U.S., Fiji and New Zealand may additionally punch their tickets to Japan. Solely the highest 4 within the World Collection standings get there as of proper, and Canada probably faces two of them within the pool phases.
The Canadians kick off towards Fiji – recent off their win in Hong Kong and the defending champions in Singapore. Then it is one other powerful examination towards South Africa. The Blitzboks are determined to hold onto their top-four place and can’t afford any errors within the preliminaries.
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Canada will proceed to indicate up and do its greatest. Its ongoing battle for meagre factors needs to be sufficient to keep away from the actual relegation dogfight, and every so often it can get us off our sofas with a efficiency that restores our religion in Canadian expertise.
As is custom, Harry Jones posed with the Singapore Sevens trophy for the pre event captains’ picture alongside his 15 worldwide counterparts.
Sadly, that is as shut as Jones, or some other Canadian, will get to the silverware he and his teammates hoisted in triumph two years in the past.