President of the Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU), Kit Nascimento feels that the national Sevens team could have performed better at the just concluded Commonwealth Games in India.
Nascimento yesterday told the media at a press conference held at Olympic House on High Street that “the team’s performance was not at the level it could and should have been.
“The team should and could have done better,” Nascimento declared.
Also present at the briefing were team coach and player Theodore Henry and team captain Claudius Butts.
“I think it’s fair to say that when we arrived in India we were the best prepared rugby team that has ever left these shores,” Nascimento stated.
He, however, noted that indiscipline in the camp cost the team a great deal on the field as a number of players on the team were “not focused.”
“During the nine days we spent at the village before we played, a number of members of the team began to lose focus… they succumbed to the distractions which are considerable in the village,” Nascimento explained.
He disclosed that the players were required to possess a level of personal and self-discipline in order to avoid those distractions, but said a number of them were unwilling to display that level of discipline.
“They failed to rise above very good amateur level athletes to what is required of an athlete performing at the highest professional level in the world,” Nascimento added.
The GRFU boss did not identify players he referred to as indisciplined but noted that “two or three” of the key players in the team were not self-disciplined to “remain within the quarters, remain rested and remain focused.”
Nascimento said that it was unfortunate that the disciplined players, such as Henry and Butts suffered as a result of the failure of those indisciplined players.
He pinpointed that the GRFU will review its approach towards dealing with those issues and said that they will be taking action.
Henry reiterated that the team’s preparation heading into the Commonwealth Games was “one of the best preparations they have had going into any tournament and it’s sad to report that the performance was disappointing.
“For me personally it’s not about winning games against these big teams, although we would love to upset these big teams, it’s about performing credibly and showing that you deserve to be on the big stage and you’re not just going there as a team participating in the tournament, so on that level I was very disappointed in the performance,” said Henry.
“It seemed to me that persons went into the Commonwealth Games telling themselves that we are the underdogs and we are going up against the best in the world so it doesn’t matter how we perform, it’s an achievement just being here and playing with these big teams, instead of telling themselves that it’s about coming here and representing themselves to the fullest,” Henry added.
Butts stated that he too thought it was a well prepared team…. “but it comes down to a level of professionalism” when going up against teams such as the Games’ rugby Sevens gold medalist New Zealand and this was not present among some of the players.