Cook Islands Sevens coach Vaivase Samania is working on various strategies to ensure the side is able to achieve its goal in the Oceania Rugby Sevens Championship to be held in November.
And that goal is to make it to at least one of the HSBC Sevens World Series tournaments in 2018/19 season.
Cook Islands is placed with Australia and Vanuatu in Pool C of the Oceania Rugby Sevens Championships to be held in Suva, Fiji.
Samania said their initial focus was the pool competition, however, they were already looking at potential teams they could end up playing in the quarter-final.
“Our focus here is the tier-two teams, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands and Niue,” Samania, the former national skipper, said.
“We are fighting for a good result to qualify to any of the World Rugby Sevens circuit tournaments. All these teams are not easy to beat, we just have to do well in our pool and finish either first or second.
“But before that I have to look who we’re facing in quarter-finals and what are our chances beating that team. It is thinking strategy here. Our energy has to be focused on how we can get a chance to play in the World Rugby Sevens circuit next year.”
Samania said beating one of the top four core teams – Fiji, New Zealand, Australia and Samoa – does not guarantee them a spot in the HSBC Sevens Series.
Last year Cook Islands finished as the second highest placed non-core team and participated in the Hong Kong Sevens tournament this year.
In the men’s qualification at the 2018 Oceania Rugby Sevens Championship, the highest placed non-core team will (a) qualify as the 16th team to the 2018/2019 HSBC Word Sevens Series Legs in Hamilton (January 26 – 27, 2019) (b) qualify as the 16th team to the 2018/2019 HSBC Word Sevens Series Legs in Sydney (February 2 – 3, 2019) and (c) qualify for the 2020 HSBC Sevens Series Qualifier in Hong Kong (April 5th - 7th, 2019).
The second highest placed non-core team in the upcoming tournament will qualify for the 2020 HSBC Sevens Series Qualifier in Hong Kong.
Meanwhile the national women’s side is grouped in Pool B alongside New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia for the Oceania Sevens.
In the women’s qualification, the first highest placed non-core team in the 2018 Oceania Rugby Sevens Championship will qualify as (a) the invitational team to the 2018/2019 HSBC Word Sevens Series Legs in Sydney (February 2 – 3, 2019) and (b) the 2020 HSBC Sevens Series Qualifier in Hong Kong (April 5th - 7th, 2019)
SOURCE: COOK ISLANDS NEWS