Opinion

EDITORIAL:Weed Out Bad Behaviour, Create New 7s Culture

Gareth Baber has done the right things first. He should now be firm from start to finish, nip problems in the bud and get tough on his men. Winning in
21 Jan 2018 10:48
EDITORIAL:Weed Out Bad Behaviour, Create New 7s Culture
Gareth Baber

Gareth Baber has done the right things first.

He should now be firm from start to finish, nip problems in the bud and get tough on his men.

Winning in this highly competitive world of rugby is all about doing the basics right first.

That’s the underlying theme if the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team, under his charge, is to achieve success in future.

Dropping Olympian and playmaker Vatemo Ravouvou and John Stewart from the team for the Sydney-Hamilton cluster of the World Sevens Series is a good start.

Fiji Rugby Union is firm on the no-alcohol policy for all national teams on tour. Yet the duo broke the rules in the second tournament of the World Sevens Series in Cape Town.

Baber needs to create a new 7s culture in that the team is only fit for those who listen, follow the rules and fly the country’s flag with pride.

And definitely not for those who break the rules, paint a bad image of Fijian Rugby and in the process make things and matters difficult for the team and the coach.

For so long extra time and energy have been diverted in attending to 7s players off-field demeanour. Ravouvou should be the last person to break the rules after Baber provided him surety for bail at the Nadi Magistrates Court on the day they left for Dubai for the first leg last month.       

Ravouvou appeared in court with three others charged with assault causing actual bodily harm. This is so unbecoming for a senior player like Ravouvou who failed to respect and consider what Baber had done for him.

Also, a senior player like Stewart, should be the last person many thought would do wrong on tour.

Especially after he led by example in taking the Fiji Airways Fijian Drua to the semifinal in their first year of the Australian National Rugby Championship in 2017.     

This is not the first time 7s players continue to hit the headlines for the very wrong reasons on the circuit.

Once a hotel in Tokyo refused to accommodate Fijian teams after players stripped the wallpaper and burned it inside the room. This was after the Japan Sevens.

In 2016 at the Rio Olympics, Savenaca Rawaca took the early flight home for disciplinary reasons by coach Ben Ryan.

This is why Baber needs to be strict and tight on discipline if he is to be successful as a coach in Fiji.

There is no place for people who abuse the system thinking that they will get away with it.

2018 is just like an Olympic year as far as 7s rugby is concerned with the World Sevens Series to end in Paris in June, Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia in April, and the Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco, USA, in July.

Winning all would be just as historic as winning the first gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. But we need players who are committed for the cause and not only think of themselves.

Rugby is our national sport and we need gentlemen representing us.

After all, no one is bigger than the game.

Feedback:  oseab@fijisun.com.fj



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