Ryan: 2009 a bitter memory

Wed, 26 Jun 2013 14:51
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England Sevens coach Ben Ryan recalls the bitterness and disappointment he felt when they lost in the quarterfinals of the World Cup in 2009.

England Sevens coach Ben Ryan recalls the bitterness and disappointment he felt when they lost in the quarterfinals of the World Cup in 2009.

The coach has got two players with him at this year's World Cup that were present in Dubai when they lost to Samoa in extra-time and does not want to feel that same feeling again this year in Moscow.

Ryan said in his regular Sevens column: "Only Rob Vickerman and James Rodwell are survivors from the 2009 Dubai World Cup.

"They both remember the utter desolation of losing an incredibly eventful quarter-final to an excellent Samoa side that went into extra time.

"It took some time to sink in that we had been knocked out - it was the most surreal few minutes of my coaching career," he added.

Ryan believes that having the World Cup every four years maintains its prestige as an event that every team wants to win over and above the World Series.

"There is a reason tournaments like this are only once every four years - it makes it more special and heightens everyone's endeavour to do their very best.

"Four years on and that memory shines as brightly as it did back in Dubai.

"I guess that’s why a quadrennial event such as this holds so much gravitas with all the teams," mentioned Ryan.

The english side have had a busy lead-up to the tournament with a grueling camp in the French Alps resort of Tignes in which they had a high volume of training and and a trimming down of the squad.

"It wasn't an easy exercise; they all deserve good news if it was based on effort and application and its tough disappointing someone after they have done all they can do to put their hand up.

"Those back at home have been just as vital to our plans as the ones here this week," the coach said.

The fact that the next World Cup is only in five years means that this years tournament is vital for a number of players because they will not get another shot at the title.

"The next World Cup will now not be until 2018, which will mean for many of the players this weekend this will be their only chance to win the World Cup.

"A three day tournament and reseeding for the knock out rounds is also different to the usual format," Ryan mentioned.

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