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Editorial: Big Lessons forFiji as 7s Series kicks off

The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team came fifth in the opening tournament of the 2018/19 HSBC World Sevens Series in Dubai. But for the Kalione Nasoko-captained side this is not
03 Dec 2018 12:38
Editorial: Big Lessons forFiji as  7s Series  kicks off
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team playing against USA in Dubai. Photo: Gabby Abariga

The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team came fifth in the opening tournament of the 2018/19 HSBC World Sevens Series in Dubai.

But for the Kalione Nasoko-captained side this is not the end of the road because they played their hearts out to bounce back from their 24-14 loss to USA in the Cup quarterfinals.

In the process, Fiji beat Argentina and South Africa to take fifth spot on the Series ladder after the first tournament.

One of the positives from the Dubai tournament was the contribution by debutants Filimoni Tuimaba, Vilimoni Botitu, Beniamino Vota and Meli Derenalagi.

The Fijians were one of the most inexperienced teams in the tournament while 7s heavyweights like New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, England and USA retained the core of players who have playing in the Series for the past five to 10 years.

For head coach Gareth Baber it’s a matter of fine tuning a few aspects of our game, things such as winning kick-offs and line-outs. These areas were attacked and exploited by Scotland and USA.

Baber has to come down hard on veteran players such as Sevuloni Mocenacagi and Amenoni Nasilasila for indisciplined play.

Mocenacagi copped a yellow card for a shoulder charge on USA winger Perry Baker during the crucial stage of the Cup quarterfinals.

Trailing 12-7 and a man down, the Americans took advantage of the situation to score two tries and take the game out of our reach.

Then it happened again, when Nasilasila got a red card against Argentina in the 5th place semi-final, but we were fortunate to have made it through with only 6 players.

These are players who should know better and it’s time Nasilasila and Mocenacagi step up and support captain Kalione Nasoko with his new responsibility.

Again, it’s a matter of learning and doing things right the next time.

For Cape Town, the challenge is to go one better than Dubai. Already they are in a tough Pool C where they take on England, France and Kenya.

Nothing is impossible, if Baber and the team play their cards right.

We wish them all the best this weekend and hope that our youngsters are able to rise to the occasion and do the impossible.

LEONE CABENATABUA

Feedbackleonec@fijisun.com.fj

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