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BUDAPEST SEVENS TOURNAMENT 2021 SUMMARY
Bill Tirikula is the Head Coach for the Women’s National 7s Coach. Below is his summary of the tournament in Budapest. It was a tournament in strange and uncertain times, but the girls went out there and gave it their all and made Norway proud. Read Bill’s views below.
Budapest 7s leg of the Women’s Trophy Tournament was an event with mix emotion for me as a Coach and of course the team too as a whole. Since we didn’t compete on the 1st leg of the series in Croatia, due to Government regulation on Covid 19 issues on travel outside the border, we were relegated down to the Conference group with the lack of points despite coming 6th place, was a bit of a blow.
We opened our tournament against the 2 top teams from the whole group 1st rank Czechs and 3rd rank Finland.
With 5 newbies exposed for the very first time to this new environment, clearly the nerves and lack of experience overwhelmed the girl’s ability to perform well. Despite the efforts of the senior vets, it wasn’t enough time to allow them time to settle in. At the same time, those 2 big games were also a blessing in disguise for the newbies and senior players alike to have a first hands feel of the task at hand under these intense pressure of exposure to International Games. The girls used those first 2 games defeat to reset, re-group and found their rhythm. They approach the rest of their games with solid consistency of team works, composures, good decision makings, accurate executions of skillsets on the dark areas of the ruck understanding and lots of guts and pride to go with it.
Of course, there were clear areas that needed to be addressed as we go along. Our penalties issues with high tackles being one of them, missed tackles too, losing focus on critical moments and of course the Coaches mistakes too on players game managements. It’s a learning process for both Players and Coach that we can always get better at, come 2022.
Our goal for 2022 obviously is to do better and get back onto the Trophy Category by 2023 and hopefully at the same time widened our search for new talents of Women rugby players across the country while we are preparing ourselves with our trainings. The Elite Players Group this season has taken the right direction in our common goal and how they have changed their attitude towards their trainings and mind set on how they want to be a National Representative. In many positive ways, they have set a solid foundation for a consistent continuation of positive build up and progress in their Training Environment. No doubt that encourages a learning process that ensures growth and small steps of positive results too along the way.
Preparation for 2022 has already started and so as the search for new talents to join the Women 7s Elite group for 2022 season.
Looking forward to it,
Here are the thoughts from the National women’s 7s manager Alice Little. She has written her summary from the managerial side of the tournament process. Giving you a deeper insight into the team behind the rugby matches and what goes on off the field and behind the scenes. What happens when things don’t go to plan?
Alice Little, National Women’s 7s Manager:
How was the mood in camp?
The camp mood was buoyant and focused throughout the weekend. Even when obstacles are put in front of us, we work together to overcome them. There is a good feeling of support within the squad and having messages from friends and family back home increases that feeling. The whole team (management included) were so happy to be participating at an international tournament.
Did the girls travel well?
With players and management team members coming from different parts of Norway and other parts of Europe, it’s always a challenge to coordinate the travel plans. On this occasion we were able to gather as a team in Schiphol Airport and make the final leg of the journey to Budapest together. Even getting a shout out from the KLM cabin crew!! Team Physio, Elizabeth, travelled by a different route, but we arrived at Budapest Airport within minutes of each other. We make sure that the team has at least one full day in-country to acclimatize to the local conditions. In this case it was hot and humid!
We stayed at Hotel Benczur, where they looked after us very well. The hotel is situated in a quiet part of Budapest, which ensured peaceful sleep. A very big thank you to Csara Palik and his team at Hotel Benczur for their great service and good humour throughout the weekend.
How did they change preparations with the delayed fixture due to a storm?
The delay of the first match due to the lightning storm was a little unfortunate as the team had already started to warm-up. The safety of players, management and Rugby Europe staff are paramount, however, so the delay of one hour was acceptable. The last round of matches on Friday was also affected by a lightning storm (stronger than the morning storm), forcing them to be postponed to Saturday morning. This played out in our favour as our training weekends have followed the pattern of having 3 full matches per day.
Through all the trials rugby in Norway has endured these last 18 months, the national squad, through the Elite Player Status has kept its integrity and shown great resilience. The communication between the National coach and local clubs has been the backbone keeping the National squad together. We, as a management team, send out our thanks to the club coaches and players for keeping the spirit of rugby alive during these times.