Francis Douglas Memorial College face a tough task even to get out of their pool at the national secondary schools sevens tournament in Auckland tomorrow.
Grouped with traditional heavyweights Hamilton Boys' High School, Otago Boys' High School and Rotorua Boys' High School, the New Plymouth side will probably need to win two of their pool games to progress to the quarterfinals.
No easy task for team making their first appearance at the Condor event.
Nevertheless, Francis Douglas coach Tim Stuck felt they were a chance following a good buildup after they qualified by winning the Taranaki secondary schools' tournament last month.
The squad has been active since then, despite the players having to juggle school exams with regular training sessions with the Taranaki sevens squad.
They also had several practice games on Thursday night against the visiting Beijing sevens team and various Taranaki selections.
"We want to try and get in the top two, that's the challenge," Stuck said. "If we can do that we can reassess our goals."
Stuck was well aware his side would probably lack the size and speed of their opponents but he remained hopeful that they could come up with a game plan to test their rivals.
"We're not so worried about the size of our opposition, because our boys have got big hearts, but speed could be a problem," he said.
"We are going to have to try and hit in the channels and try and use the blind, otherwise we will just have to try and keep recycling the pill.
"We have to be clever and try and work in threes, maybe then we can find some space."
One thing is for sure, the Francis Douglas boys will have to wake up tomorrow ready to go, with their first game scheduled for 8.36am.
FDMC SEVENS SQUAD:Michael Blanks, Liam Parker, Du'Plessis Kirifi, Ethan Perrett, Dylan Schuler, Blake Barrett, Liam Doherty, Jordie Barrett, Logan Crowley, Daniel Crowley, Daniel Bernet, Nathan Clough.
- Taranaki Daily News
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