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Letters To The Editor 25th July,2018

Letters To The Editor 25th July,2018
July 25
12:55 2018

Salute Our Boys

Timoci Gaunavinaka, Nausori.

Earlier this year I wrote an article on this column stating that the Fiji Sevens Team were at the doorway of unparalleled opportunity  to win and hold the Commonwealth Gold, the IRB series title and the Sevens World Cup in addition to our Olympic Gold Medal simultaneously.

We watched all these opportunities slip through our fingers one by one, despite having some of the most formidable players under the sun in the code.

Thanks to Gareth Baber.

The dropping of Eroni Sau has come back to haunt Baber. But that was not the only thing that went wrong in San Francisco. Keeping Leone Nakarawa on the bench to be used for just a few minutes as an impact player appears to be a huge and costly mistake.

Nakarawa’s line breaking and off loading ability and considering his huge size will make him a sure starter under any coach on this planet.

The boys appeared to be in an almost fatigue like status in the semi-final, which questions the justification of their high-altitude camp in Utah.

When Ben Ryan took the team to the Andes Mountains before Rio, it was just the team that were there and a few locals.

At Utah, judging from the photos in the media, it was almost like a Tebara festival with dozens of tents around the ground watching our team’s every move.

Now there are rumours of the team attending late night functions in the US.

We are also hearing that they participated in another tournament in Utah exposing their combinations, skills and talents.

What team under the sun would like to showcase its moves to the public before the actual battle begins?

What effects do such functions (if true) have on their strict diets?

With today’s technology, what is there to stop the New Zealand and South African coaches from getting live view of our team’s preparations and every move on their mobile phones and project it on to a bigger screen for their whole team to watch and plan how to counter them?

Chinese general and war strategist Sun Tzu stated in his book, “The art of war” that every battle is won before they are ever fought.

It is the preparation stage that decides the outcome of any battle.

It appears that we lost the Sevens World Cup long before we arrived at San Francisco.

This is why our choosing the right coach and manager are vital.

We don’t choose the wrong person and expect miracles to bring us victory.

That will be like planting cassava and expecting to harvest yaqona.

FRU owes it to the nation to investigate and explain what actually transpired in the US.

But today we must salute our boys for their effort and sacrifices.

Whatever hurt many of us fans may feel, our players and their families are hurt much more.

The Fiji Sevens team will rise again and will etch its name again at the pinnacle of sevens rugby.

But we may wait a few years for that.

Let the memories of this painful experience be remembered for decades so none of our future teams commit the same mistake again.

At the moment, let us be content that we are still the Olympic Champions (thanks to Ben Ryan) and we continue to breed a generation of young talents that will glitter in various rugby paddocks around the world in years to come.

Take Responsibility

Dharmendra Kumar, Suva

It is clear that many more factors than just the coach have an impact upon a team’s success.

The “ritual scapegoating” that is a common motive for sacking a coach often changes very little in the organisation.

The question in everybody’s mind would be should Gareth Baber continue as the Fiji 7s coach?

The conclusion here is that if you sack a coach to appease fans, you’d better have a viable successor lined up.

If you sack a coach to increase on-field performance, you’d better hope they can change a whole lot.

The understanding is that we sack them because the results are not good enough, patience has run out and we see no prospects of a turnaround.

Then comes the next question: if results are bad is that necessarily the coach’s fault?

And would sacking him, and replacing him, deliver good results?

Bad results can be the fault of the coach or the players or a combination of both.

A lot of people would like Baber to be sacked.

Any decision on Baber’s future must not be made in haste.

Yes, the nation is rightly disappointed by Fiji’s premature Rugby World Cup loss.

I have listened to criticism on social media, but I still believe Baber should continue.

The reason is that a lot of players will move on with contracts and I believe Baber is the best person to mould a winning team for 2018-2019 IRB series.

He knows the extended squad and he has a better understanding of Fijian players now.

Any changes made to the coaching panel must be made gradually with a lot of thought and planning.

The worst thing to do is to make decisions while you are emotional.

The fact is the Fiji team was outplayed in many facets of the game and a better team won.

Coaches are accountable, but changing coaches may make things worse.

Ben Ryan knew this and he moved on on a winning note.

Disgruntled fans is a norm in Fiji but the Fiji rugby union has to make a wise and bold decision.

Let’s not do more damage to the game of sevens.

Our best players was outplayed, hence the players – like the coach – must all take responsibility for the loss.

Let’s not find fault, let’s find remedies for a champion Fiji sevens team once again

Donu and Kawakawa

Tukai Lagonilakeba, Namaka, Nadi

The ban for Donu or kawakawa fish species is already in force throughout the country.

However, I would like to request the Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau to please send his fisheries officers into all Chinese restaurants in all our towns and cities to inspect their deep freezers where they keep their restaurant fish stocks.

For the past many weeks I have been ordering fish cooked in Chinese style from different well-known restaurants in Nadi and Lautoka.

While they are very delicious, they will always serve this lovely Kawakawa or Donu on a large dish.

I do not think this restaurant owners do understand that there is a moratorium in place because they will just serve it openly in front of everyone in their restaurant.

While it is very tempting and tickles your appetite you just have to eat it or what else do we do?

No way am I going to return it.

There are bootleggers for alcohol everywhere in Fiji and so is the black market for this first grade banned fish.

The point here is how does one tell these fishermen to throw the fish back into the ocean?

It does not make sense.

Deep sea locally licensed fisherman do go out very far to catch fish for two and three days before they return to sell their catch while incurring a lot of expenses.

These fisherman simply do not have control over which fish will have a bite at their fishing line hook and bait no matter where they will anchor in the deep.

But trust me I do not condone anyone breaking the law, but it is a very difficult ask.

feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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