SPORTS

Analysis: Seniors Letdown

Our sevens gone wrong in the desert, senior reps Nasilasila and Mocenacagi indiscipline not helping team. Gareth Baber should nip it in the bud now for his sake and for
05 Dec 2018 10:03
Analysis: Seniors Letdown
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s reps Amenoni Nasilasila (left) and Sevuloni Mocenacagi during the Dubai 7s on December 1, 2018. Photo: Ian Muir

Our sevens gone wrong in the desert, senior reps Nasilasila and Mocenacagi indiscipline not helping team.

Gareth Baber should nip it in the bud now for his sake and for the team.

The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s coach should lay down the marker, call a spade a spade, make his point hit home, be more direct and firm on the players.

We expected the team to hit the overdrive in Dubai but we ended up with a substandard ending up 5th overall.

We expected the team to start with a hiss and roar but ended up with a deflated off-colour performance in the first tournament of the season in the desert.

Despite the high expectations, the team failed to click as things went wrong.

Baber had been doing the hard yards during the off-season and even rated his squad better prepared than last season.

But signs of cracks in the team surfaced when push comes to shove in the business end of the competition.

While the team made easy picking of their pool opponents (France, Scotland, Kenya), they failed to survive the first real test in the Cup quarterfinal against the United States.

Why? We lost simply because we failed to play and do it by the rules.

We failed to win or contest kickoffs and ended up defending and chasing the game throughout and in the end losing it 14-24.

It went from bad to worse when Sevuloni Mocenacagi was yellow carded for a high tackle on Perry Baker.

Baber should weigh his options on why Mocenacagi should be on his team for the future.

This is not the first time Mocenacagi has committed the offence in the knockout stages and let the team down.

He was also sent off in the Commonwealth Games final in Gold Coast against New Zealand.

If Baber wants to keep him in the team he needs to turn this indiscipline, angry young man into a better rugby player.

Tackling 6’ 1” Baker by the neck shows that Mocenacagi loses his cool when the pressure is on.

Being one of the senior players in the side, he should lead by example but he is exactly doing the opposite.

On the same note, Amenoni Nasilasila deserved to be shown the red card against Argentina.

It was intentional and so unbecoming of the Namatakula native.

But like Mocenacagi, when senior players don’t want to play by the rules of the game, it means they are either playing for so long on the 7s circuit or they need timeout.

They are providing more headaches for Baber who will be without Nasilasila for the first two games against France on Saturday and Kenya on Sunday.

Because of their demeanor, they are adding pressure on the team to perform.

After failing to win the World Sevens Series, Rugby Sevens World Cup and the Commonwealth Games, Baber needs to crack the whip and start winning tournaments.

He needs to convince the Fiji Rugby Union that he is the right man to be in charge of our campaign to defend the gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The gentle, soft spoken Welshman needs to get tough on the players and deliver desired results on the circuit.

Edited by Anasilini Natoga

Feedback:  oseabb@fijisun.com.fj

 



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