Nathan Hirayama running through to score a try – pics courtesy of Andy Laing/ISN
26 July, 2014 (ISN) Speaking with Nathan Hirayama after the demolition of Barbados, I asked how happy he was with the scoreline. “I’m happy to come back after New Zealand opener, we weren’t happy with that result at all”.
“We did a lot of work before the New Zealand game and weren’t happy with how it went and very disappointed, we spoke before the Barbados game and said we wanted to make a statement and do it for ourselves”. Regardless of who they’re playing, these guys obviously feel it when they suffer a loss.
New Zealand are the benchmark in Commonwealth Rugby Sevens (undefeated since 1998) – I asked Nathan how the squad felt after the match with them this morning: “Disappointed, turned over too much ball. We cant do that against the best team in the world”
Turning to Scotland, Nathan said the squad was confident about facing Scotland, although he was sure that Scotland were confident about facing Canada too. “Scotland are a good team and it’ll be a hard fought battle,” he said, “there aren’t any easy games any more when it comes to core teams.”
Captain John Moonlight enjoyed a better performance than against New Zealand – pics courtesy of Andy Laing/ISN
After the Games the squad will break up for a 3-4 week break before getting back to business, Nathan is heading home after Glasgow to “put his feet up” before turning his mind to the 2015 World Cup and Olympic Qualification which, he said, the Commonwealth Games was good preparation for.
Coach Crowley was asked if the seven hour gap between the Barbados and Scotland games was going to be an issue, he pointed out that the main issue was not losing focus over such a long break. He said the squad have brought some board games and some of them will get a nap to kill some time but he emphasised that the squad can’t switch off because it was obvious that they hadn’t switched on for the New Zealand game.
He said that “realistically we need to win against Scotland to go through from the group.” When asked about where Canada stand within the group at this stage after the Barbados game.
Canada attacked effectively despite the attention of the Barbados defence – pics courtesy of Andy Laing/ISN
He believes that the squad won’t be phased playing the host nation, “the squad is used to games in big stadia against big teams so they’ll handle it well,” he said, adding that possession was the key to a big win against Scotland, as their poor possession cost them against New Zealand.