Long Season, Sad Ending

 Haters will be haters if that is the way they want to operate then let them carry on-Gareth Baber   Rugby played on field not in paper;  Overseas –based players
26 Jul 2018 11:58
Long Season, Sad Ending
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s coach Gareth Baber with fans at the Nadi International Airport on July 25, 2018. Photo: Waisea Nasokia
  •  Haters will be haters if that is the way they want to operate then let them carry on-Gareth Baber
  •   Rugby played on field not in paper;
  •  Overseas –based players deserved their place in team;
  •  Players need to have a good rest and have fun;


Fiji Airways Fijian 7s coach Gareth Baber said losing Rugby World Cup Sevens was a huge disappointment.

And they would need to recover well before 2018/2019 World Sevens Series resume in Dubai on November 30.

He said the players need to take that much needed break away from rugby after a long year playing in four competitions.

“It has been a long year for the players, they need a break and to have some fun away from rugby for a while before we focus our attention on the 2018/2019 World Sevens Series,” Baber said.

“We had a good season in some respects in terms of the World Series, the winning run we had, but we were just not able to recreate that f.orm in last couple of tournaments.

“It is a huge disappointment because we had a chance in the way we played against Argentina on Saturday night was exactly how we wanted to play New Zealand. But obviously New Zealand played a good game, we know that it was there for the taking, there was a period there had we caught the ball and scored then it would have been a different game, but it was not the case.”


“Sau was not picked because he did not train as well as the other players. We had them in training for a long period of time, I trusted both Semi Radradra and Josua Tuisova in London, they played well, Radradra was the player of the tournament for that while Tuisova scored a couple of tries and assisted setting some up as well.”

Baber said as for Semi Kunatani, he trained well with team, featuring in the Hong Kong Sevens and the Commonwealth Games and in some other World Series tournaments as well.

“Somebody was going to be left out, if I left another one out you will be asking why that person is left out, I knew that, that was the whole point in taking 16 players, I could have done it way ahead but then I would not have had the chance to take a look at the players coming in from Europe.”



“Haters will be haters if that is the way they want to operate then let them carry on, but I am not going to let it affect me. Neither am I going to let it affect the players, if people are small minded enough to put those kind of things in the paper then carry on.”

Baber confirmed that he would be continuing with his services as coach for the team in the World Sevens Series.:



“Rugby is not played on paper, people are saying that on paper we have got the best team, I do not know on paper what qualifies as having the best team.”

He was responding to the assumptions made by people given the line-up of players playing during the World Cup.

“We have competitions and teams grow in to these competitions, I know at times, we were not the best team on paper but we have played in the World Sevens Series and won tournaments if you want to look at it that way, so we just did not manage to do it this time.”



“If you look at London where Tuisova and Radradra being the top points scorer and player of the tournament I think they proved themselves then, Kunatani did it in Hong Kong and the Commonwealth Games.

“If people want to say something about Nakarawa, I was always going to use him how I always wanted to use him coming in the second-half, to create physicality in the game and give offload opportunities as well.”

He said people could always argue that players needed more fitness.

“But I am not going to label that, you have seen them work and you have seen them play sevens, they are good players and they play.” exceptionally well.


Edited by Osea Bola



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