Theodore Henry, Coach of the national rugby squad preparing for the International Rugby Board (iRB) Sevens World Series tournament in Las Vegas, United States of America next month, is upbeat about the team’s chances following trials at the National Stadium at Providence yesterday.
Despite the fact that the squad still requires a lot of work to get up to the level required Henry was enthused over the team’s fitness.
“The positive is definitely the fitness; the fitness is the positive right now and the physical strength. ‘It’s just about getting the game plan into motion right now and that’s about it,” he told Stabroek Sport yesterday.
“We will be peaking by the time we’re ready to go to Vegas” Henry added confidently.
Yesterday Henry held discussions with the players periodically.
“Generally we discussed the recycling of the ball and keeping our alignment going perfectly; playing defence and generally just our work ethic and just working hard,” he said.
The national Sevens coach observed that the work the squad had undertaken in the gym prior to their work in the field was paying dividends and was having a positive effect on the team’s training on the field.
“We did a lot of gym work last month and we’re doing a lot of endurance and condition kind of work right now and it is definitely showing. The guys are moving a bit quicker and they are lasting longer,” he disclosed.
Henry noted that though there are areas of weakness that the squad has to focus on as the iRB Series approaches, there are also areas of the squad’s game that has improved and they should be acknowledged for the improvement.
Commenting on the newly acquired practice facility for the iRB World Series, Henry declared:”The guys are pretty much excited to be out here on such a good surface, so we are trying to make full use of it and just see how much we can raise the speed of our game-play and try to put into practice a couple of things that we were working on.”
President of the GRFU, Kit Nascimento, who took a break from watching the team’s training on the sidelines, explained to Stabroek Sport that the squad still has a lot of work to do.
“We still have a tremendous amount of work to do, we were seriously handicapped by the field in the National Park, but now that we have access to this ground, it will make a big difference, but the reality is we have maybe four weeks to go.”
Nascimento too was observed speaking to the squad and pinpointing areas of weakness that the team needs to work on.
“We work with the team and with video sessions and arrive at strategic plays and then you see them doing exactly the opposite,” he said.
However, on a positive note Nascimento stated that the team was very close to full fitness adding that he was very confident that by early February, the squad will be at full fitness.
“In terms of game-play, that’s just beginning unfortunately, so we saw a lot of errors today,” Nascimento explained.
He said that some of the areas the squad has to now focus on are “positioning play, retaining possession and utilizing their speed.”
“The primary advantage of this team is speed we have on the wing. We have tremendous speed on the wings, so we have to develop a game that’s going to take maximum advantage of that speed.”
“We’ve got to learn to play the right game,” Nascimento added.