Nuku’alofa, 30 April 2015: Head Coach Andrew Katoa has summed up day one of the Kong Kong Sevens by saying “It was a long day for our boys yesterday, but the process continues for us to improve and get better.”
The Tongan Sevens team will fail to qualify for core team status in the 2015/16 world sevens series, however Head Coach Andy Katoa believes the team has the foundations to build towards the future, and they are heading in the right direction. “We are making strides and learning to trust what we have learned, and to trust each other. But we need to do that all the time, to where it becomes good habits.”
Both Spain and Zimbabwe exploited gaps on the field, poor passes and errors to limit Tonga to one try in total for the day, coming in their first game where Spain triumphed 27 – 5.
Zimbabwe took control of their match early, with an intercept and try within the first minute setting the tone for their 41 – 0 victory. Tonga was unable to maintain possession, and mistakes in their half allowed Zimbabwe to dominate the game.
Katoa though does take a number of positives out of day one. “Mistakes were made, and the good thing is that’s fixable. We’ll continue to fix those mistakes, and create the habits we need to be successful down the road”
“Our boys have worked hard and are committed to building the right culture, and to getting the little things right. Discipline on and off is a big part of the culture we are building.”
“They’ve learned that they have to take advantage of the opportunity when it comes, because that opportunity will create further opportunities.”
Katoa has previously stated the foundations of the team, and the coaching staff, have provided a solid base from which to build, and that while the results on the scoreboard may not reflect what was hoped for, there is still potential is still within this team, saying “Our players will continue to work hard. The talent is there, it will get better and things will get worked out. We’re still excited about day two [and the opportunities it brings]
Tonga plays Guyana at 2pm Tongan time Saturday, then will return to Tonga, where Katoa and the team will build on their development, and prepare for the Pacific Games.