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Step Up: Baber

    Vodafone Fijian 7s coach Gareth Baber needs senior players to take up more responsibilities. He said playing rugby was not their only job anymore. With new players coming
28 Apr 2017 15:22
Step Up: Baber
Vodafone Fijian 7s captain Osea Kolinisau during the gym session at Uprising Beach Resort on April 27, 2017. Photo: Ronald Kumar

 

 

Vodafone Fijian 7s coach Gareth Baber needs senior players to take up more responsibilities.

He said playing rugby was not their only job anymore.

With new players coming in, Baber wants to develop them quickly and in order to do that, the senior players need to impart their knowledge and skills to the new ones.

Isake Katonibau is one of the best players Baber said he has worked with.

During the Hong Kong and Singapore leg, Katonibau led the pack.

Baber was hoping other senior players will step up and take the lead.

“It was always my intention, when Katonibau came in, that he would impart some of his experience and knowledge to the young boys.

“So they know what it’s like to play in international competitions,” Baber said.

“That will continue.

“I want him in training around the players who are in that transition phases.

“You have got the likes of Jasa Veremalua, he is an Olympian and he realises there is a responsibility on his shoulders to step up and take that mantle but it doesn’t happen overnight.”

Baber said these were experienced players, and he needed them to do certain responsibilities when it comes to international competitions.

“It is the way you build a team, you build it around talent but you also build it around mentality on what those players have on a rugby field and whether people like it or not, Katonibau is one of the best competitors I have ever worked with.

“He is determined, skilful in what he does and he is empathetic with the rest of the players in getting them to where they need to get to.

“I want the team to be able to develop quickly and you need people like that around to make it happen.”

The team went through a gruelling gym session yesterday at the Uprising Beach Resort gym as they prepare for the last two legs in Paris and London.

While Fiji is second in the standings with 132 points behind South Africa who are on 157 points, Baber said it will be difficult to retain their title.

However, performance is very important and they are aiming to get to the level they were during the Hong Kong 7s.

From a performance perspective Baber said the team needed to find the consistency to be able to deliver the kind of performance they showed in Hong Kong against South Africa.

“We can improve on how well we tackle, how we pass, how many tries we score and how many kick offs we retain, getting  to that level is the optimum point that we want to be training at all the time.

“However, there is a lot of mental skill that comes in and a lot of pressure for the young men learning on the trade and they need to make sure they have senior boys around them to drag them through as well.”

The Paris 7s will be held on May 14-15.

Edited by Paula Tuvuki

Feedbackjustine.mannan@fijisun.com.fj

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