The first round of the Women’s World Series kicked off on Thursday and Friday saw the start of the Men’s World Series, the sun is shining and the stars have taken centre stage.
The Women’s action has seen some very interesting results and has put a lot of pressure on the old school dominant teams that have been regulars through years, which has put a caution out that the Olympic Qualification year is officially underway and each and every women’s team is out to grab a spot to the show.
The Men’s first round of pool play has taken place, and the teams looker fresher faster and fitter than the last tournament on the Gold Coast. We are seeing a great display of the team identities we have shown and spoken about over the last few weeks.
The technology and viewer engagement has grown. Now we are seeing more slides that are giving player and team feedback. The one that really caught my eye was this one below.
It reflects six of the match stats we have talked about:
– Tackles Completed
– Tackles Missed
– Visits to Oppositions 22
– Passes Completed
– Total Ball Given Away
– Possession Kicked Away
These six statistics tell you a story of what kind of game was played, but also who had the lion’s share of possession and who was accurate. These all display our characteristics of Team Identity.
This weekend we will start to see the likes of South Africa and New Zealand finding their way back in to the top four, but remember the biggest piece we discussed early after the Gold Coast tournament.
The biggest stumbling block for even the best Sevens teams in the world is the recovery battle they face after every game on Day One and then what strategy and purpose they have coming out of their evaluation of their day and then their first opponent come Day Two.
Dubai is unique in its incredible facilities with the change rooms the players have access to, but also the player facility that sits 200 metres from the main stadium and caters to the food and recovery needs of each player and team.
The problem though is that some can unfortunately over indulge in what is on offer in the player lounge, but you also have so much going on around the stadium with multiple tournaments that cover multiple ages and abilities, but also the festival atmosphere that lurks around every corner.
Keep your eye on it and know that the two biggest games in a Sevens tournament are the first game on Day One and the first game on Day Two.
Enjoy the fascinating match ups and the chess matches that unfold with speed.
By Matt Hawkins