Opinion

EDITORIAL: Consistent Winners Key For Players, Coach

Let us hope the Fiji Airways Fijians 7s win at the Hamilton 7s last weekend is just the beginning of many more victories to come. It is important for the
11 Feb 2018 17:04
EDITORIAL: Consistent Winners Key For Players, Coach

Let us hope the Fiji Airways Fijians 7s win at the Hamilton 7s last weekend is just the beginning of many more victories to come.

It is important for the nation, the game and for all of us. Therefore, it is important that we build a winning culture and there is no better platform to do that than the World Sevens Series.

Unfortunately, this has not been the case in the last 19 years since the World Sevens Series started. Although we have won the series a few times, we seem to be inconsistent winners throughout.

Fiji Airways Fijian 7s coach Gareth Baber and his men put on a gallant performance at Hamilton, New Zealand, last weekend defeating big guns before claiming their first title of the 2017/2018 season. But the beauty of it was that they came from behind on a number of occasions to win in the end.

Against South Africa in the Cup final, they fought back to win 24-17 after losing 5-17 at halftime. This is a sign of a good team and kudos must go to the players and Baber, and hopefully they will set a benchmark.

Like Baber, coaches around the world are always in the spotlight and their survival is always performance-based.

Players always get the accolades when the team wins and the coaches get the blame when the team loses. That’s human nature and therefore it is important that Baber lays down the law and creates a consistently winning culture like no other Fijian coach has done before.

Sevens legend Waisale Serevi and 2016 Rio Olympics winning coach Ben Ryan won the series, but they failed to be consistent throughout.

Apart from winning the World Sevens Series, gold at the Commonwealth Games in April and the Melrose Cup at the Rugby Sevens World Cup in July, Baber should set a trend building up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Among the world’s top rugby coaches one can draw inspiration from All Blacks coach Steve Hansen. It’s remarkable to think that since taking over as head coach in 2012, Hansen has lost only six of 82 Tests in charge.

Last year the World No 1-ranked New Zealand team played 14 Tests – including a memorable three-Test series against the British & Irish Lions – and lost only twice.

Eddie Jones led England to nine victories from 10 Tests in 2017 (90 per cent) and landed the World Rugby Coach of the Year accolade for his efforts.

Ireland, vastly improved in recent times under Joe Schmidt, triumphed in nine of their 11 Tests for an 82 per cent win-record. These are examples of coaching consistency.

Our 7s squad returns to camp this week to prepare for the Las Vegas Sevens and Vancouver Sevens next month.

We have not won back-to-back tournaments ever. Being consistent is a challenge for Baber and the boys.

Feedback:  oseab@fijisun.com.fj

Fijisun E-edition
Advertise with fijisun
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: