SPORTS

Baber Gambles And Wins

It was gamble that has paid off for Fiji Airways Fijian 7s coach Gareth Baber. Despite the London 7s being a crucial tournament as it determines whether we’ll win the
04 Jun 2018 09:49
Baber Gambles And Wins
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s rover Semi Radradra looks for support against Argentina in their pool opener of the London 7s at Twickenham on June 2,2018.Photo: Ian Muir

It was gamble that has paid off for Fiji Airways Fijian 7s coach Gareth Baber.

Despite the London 7s being a crucial tournament as it determines whether we’ll win the 2017/18 HSBC World Sevens Series or not, the Welshman brought in Josua Tuisova and Semi Radradra.

Some questioned using them straight out of a season of French Top 14 club rugby.

Turns out Baber knew his men.

The Toulon pair did not let him down as they put on a sterling performance during the first day at Twickenham.

It was a shaky start against Argentina when they came in as replacements in the second half but by the time they took on the Scots they were already hitting their stride.

In the final pool game against arch rivals New Zealand, they simply showed the power, speed and class- that often made them mesmerise the rugby world.

After such breathtaking performances, Tuisova and Radradra have now pencilled their names in Baber’s list for the Sevens Rugby World Cup in San Francisco.

Gareth Baber. Photo: Ian Muir

Gareth Baber. Photo: Ian Muir

MAKING THINGS RIGHT

For Baber winning the Sevens Rugby World Cup is crucial to making things right after we failed to win the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. This time with the backing of Fiji Rugby Union, he is given the freedom to select players who he knows can get us the win.

It is understood that after the Paris tournament, Tuisova has to attend to a family function in Ba where he awaits his next call of national 7s duties.

Already standby Brive winger Benito Masilevu has stepped in for him by joining the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians squad for the Pacific Nations Cupww. Similar arrangements are believed to be done with Radradra to ensure that he is in tip top shape come World Cup time.

 

WHAT’S NEXT

With that done, the next big headache for Baber is in the forwards where Semi Kunatani has been considered along with Europe’s best Leone Nakarawa.

And adding to that is the much-improved form of veteran Jasa Veremalua whose ability to win possession during kick-offs and to turn on the gas at crucial moments has been a delight to watch at Twickenham.

For whatever Baber decides about our forwards… only time will tell us that.

FeedBack: leonec@fijisun.com.fj

 

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper