Vodafone Fijian 7s head coach Gareth Baber has rated Waisea Nacuqu as his ‘X-factor’ for the Hong Kong 7s which starts today. Baber said Nacuqu’s presence alone in the team
07 Apr 2017 11:00
From left: Skipper Osea Kolinisau, Jasa Veremalua,Vatemo Ravouvou and Joeli Lutumailagi chilling out at So Kon Po Stadium on April 6, 2017. Photo: Bruce Southwick/Zoomfiji

Vodafone Fijian 7s head coach Gareth Baber has rated Waisea Nacuqu as his ‘X-factor’ for the Hong Kong 7s which starts today.

Baber said Nacuqu’s presence alone in the team was enough to lift anyone’s spirits as they aim to be sharper in their attacks at the tournament over the next three days.

“There has been some lovely stuff from Waisea Nacuqu and his impact into the team has been marked in the way that he is able to lift people around him when he comes on,” Baber said.

“The brilliance that he has really filled me with awe and it is good to have people like that in the team.

“We will need to be as sharp as we can with our attack but really force pressure on the opposition when we haven’t got the ball.

“We need to show exactly how well we can reorganise when we haven’t got the ball and make it more difficult for them to score so that we create that pressure in the game.”

Being back in familiar surroundings with a new team, Baber said there was a sense of calmness among the players despite the pressure on the team to defend their Hong Kong title and win their first leg in the series.

“I think seldom you end up in a situation where stress levels rise and we are professionals at the end of it and we deal with it in going about the structures, the systems that we put in our training session,” he said.

“You want the players in a calm position so they can think clearly and make good decisions on the field and they can express themselves.

“But technically we need get things right and that’s the big thing in a sevens environment, the game has become very technical.”

Baber has been focusing a lot on defence and kick-offs which has let the team down in the last couple of tournaments but Baber said it was the little things that played a huge part of the game. However he was also cautious not to lose that Fijian flair.

“All teams are looking at defence and if they can get that bit right they can move forward defensively,” Baber said.

“You make progressive tackles rather than negative tackles, we have been guilty too much over the last couple of tournaments where we got ourselves into situations where we have lost a bit of organisation and that has bitten us.

“So we have looked at that, we have looked at our kick offs as well, generally they are big parts of the game.

“But I am conscious of not losing what is fantastic about Fijian rugby as well and what makes us such a threat when we play opposition with our ball in hand and the boys are good at expressing themselves as they have done when they were kids. It is important that stays in the game.”

The Vodafone Fijians play their first game against Japan at 11.54pm tonight before playing Wales tomorrow at 5.12pm and New Zealand at 9.12pm in pool play.




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