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Help Me Beat Perry

Help Me Beat Perry
Perry Baker of USA beats Fiji Airways Fijian 7s rep Vilimoni Botitu in the 14- 24 Cup quarterfinal loss of the Dubai 7s on December 1, 2018. Photo: Ian Muir
December 05
09:59 2018

A few hours before departing Dubai on Monday for Cape Town, Fiji Airways Fijian 7s rookie winger Filimoni Tuimaba called his former rugby league coach asking for help.

He wants tips on how he could contain USA winger Perry Baker if they do meet up again in Cape Town or during the World Sevens Series.

Making his debut in Dubai, the Yasawa native was concerned on how the World Rugby Sevens Player for two consecutive years found Tuimaba easy picking in the 14-24 Cup quarterfinal loss.

Despite scoring a try himself, Tuimaba learned the hard way from one of world’s fastest man.

He wants to do well against Baker, a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Law Enforcement graduate, the next time they meet.

Speaking to SUNsports yesterday, Fiji National Rugby League development officer Lagilagi Golea said they had discussed about the situation where Baker scored two tries beating him on the outside.

“It was on Monday when Tuimaba called and I shared with him my thoughts,” he said.

“I’ve told him that he can match or beat Baker in terms of speed. But he needs to watch the stop and step movement he does to give him the advantage.

“Also the angle he needs to approach him from when Baker has the ball. He knows how to work it out and hope he will do well in Cape Town.”

Golea said Tuimaba, just like Eroni Sau, should improve his game in the next few tournaments.

“When Sau switched to sevens rugby his position in the Saru Dragons was filled by Tuimaba,”Golea said.

Golea said Tuimaba played wing for Ba Provincial Freebird Institute when they won the Fiji Secondary Schools Rugby League Under-19 title in 2015.

“He joined Saru Dragons and played right up to the main team during the Top 8 competition.”

He pointed out that Tuimaba like Sau hails from the Yasawa.

“Tuimaba is also a 100m and 400m runner for the school winning medals at the Coke Games.”

Golea said Tuimaba wanted to make the Fiji Residents squad but was dropped so he turned to sevens rugby and played for Vio and then played for Yasawa in the Vodafone Vanua Championship where he was identified by Fiji Airways Fijian 7s coach Gareth Baber.

Fiji play France at 9.59pm on Saturday, Kenya at 1.20am and England at 5.05am on Sunday.

-Edited by  Grace Narayan


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