7s Set: Baber

  Fiji Airways Fijian 7s head coach Gareth Baber wants his men to make a strong start in the first leg of the World Sevens Series in Dubai on Friday.
28 Nov 2018 10:44
7s Set: Baber
Fiji Airways Fijians 7s squad members (from left) Ratu Meli Derenalagi, Alasio Naduva and Kalione Nasoko in Dubai. Photo: FRU Media


Fiji Airways Fijian 7s head coach Gareth Baber wants his men to make a strong start in the first leg of the World Sevens Series in Dubai on Friday.

Speaking to SUNsports in a Zoom interview yesterday, Baber said preparations are on track and they are wary of the teams in their pool.

“All the teams in our pool are dangerous and the biggest threats would probably come from France and Scotland,” Baber said

“If we look back at the Rugby Sevens World Cup in July, France beat Australia and they pushed New Zealand to sudden death as well.

“They have notable game breakers and they love to play with pace.

“And they have some dangerous individual ball runners. We will not be taking anything for granted and we will work on our defence this week, discipline will be very crucial.

“We have played the Kenyans several times last season and they have a lot of experienced players in the team.

“We will face them in our last pool match on Saturday and we are expecting a physical match”.

Baber tells of plans to beat their pool rivals.

“We’ve ways to get around each of these teams and how we have beaten these teams last season and we need to have a strong start,” Baber added.

“Certainly we will go about preparing the team from measuring their performance from tournament to tournament and have appositive mentality towards it.

“I can say we are in a good space this week, the players have trained well and added value to side with their hardwork and determination.

“It is hard to compare to our achievement a year ago because a lot happens in terms of the learning and obviously we will like to start strong.

“I suppose Dubai 7s is little bit like Hong Kong 7s and it becomes a huge factor and its well supported with the level of energy supported around it.

“There is a quiet focus about what the players are bringing about this week and we talked about it. I’ve been monitoring each of the players behaviors ensuring their fitness level are up to par.

“One of the biggest things for us is work ethic and that is to work hard and be part of the team. We need to be also mindful of the fact that there are new bloods/ X-factors in other teams as well.

“But I am very strong and confident on concentrating about what we have through my coaching particularly in bringing the players in terms of the responsibility that they have in the game. And we play in a unique style nobody like playing us because of the unpredictability we have in terms of skill level.

“And it’s my job to look at the opposition and not to blind our players with too much information on that as well. I think that having four new debutants in the side is a bonus as we can count on the fresh talents in the team.

“All I want as a coach is for my players to be able to do well and be the best in the world. And if we get that aspect of the game right we can have the mental preparation of the players on track too.”

He also explained the reason behind changing the captain from Seremaia Tuwai to Kalione Nasoko.

“We needed the change as despite Tuwai being experienced man over the years, we needed someone that will be able to lead, know the system and how the team coordinates,” Baber said.

“Because being a captain is not about leading the team but being able to handle the pressure that comes with it. And we all aware what Tuwai went through and nasty things said on social media about him. I think Tuwai needs his freedom.”

Edited byOsea Bola


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