SPORTS

Baber Sets Plan

Fiji Airways Fijian 7s head coach Ga­reth Baber returned home yesterday with sighs of relief after ending 2018 on high note. The side managed to break a 13-year-old drought in
13 Dec 2018 11:00
Baber Sets Plan
Fiji Airways 7s skipper Kalioni Nasoko and fans at the Nadi International Airport yesterday. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA

Fiji Airways Fijian 7s head coach Ga­reth Baber returned home yesterday with sighs of relief after ending 2018 on high note.

The side managed to break a 13-year-old drought in South Africa to win the sec­ond World Sevens Series in Cape Town on Monday. The side defeated USA 29-15 in the final.

Baber said; “I am happy for this sea­son, we know that NZ, Australia, South Africa, America and England are all ca­pable of beating each other and getting the consistency in those performances is important for us.

“Moving forward and pleased of what they’ve achieved over the two weeks,” he said.

Focus on Hamilton

Fiji tops Pool in Hamilton A alongside Australia, Argentina and Wales.

“We need to be fit and healthy and we’ve got some work to do now over the period of Christmas and into New Year.

“We have seen how the other teams have geared themselves up, how they resource themselves, the money they’re spending on stuff and the resources that they need to be able to compete at that levels and we’ve got to be the same.

“We’ve got to be at those levels and we’ve got to give the players the oppor­tunity that they’re the number one in the world,” Baber said.

Hamilton 7s will be held on January 26-27.

Senior players on par

Baber was particularly proud of the sen­ior group who guided the young players.

“It’s tough for young players to come in and we need good leadership in the group to be able to guide them into their positions and ultimately have the right culture around them to ensure when they have the chance to go and shine.”

Shut critics out

“It was a great response going back into Cape Town we haven’t won there after 13 years and everybody in Fiji wanted us to do that but it was a good response from the players,” he added.

“They would have known the criticisms that would come off from losing one game, it is difficult for them, they came up against a very good US side and they played well.”

The Gareth Baber coached side takes a break and return next Wednesday for three days camp.

“I have to keep monitoring the players and make sure that they keep their fit­ness standard that we created prior go­ing to Dubai and South Africa,” he said.

“It’s important that they have some time with family now they’ve been away a good two and a half weeks. They deserve time to celebrate what they’ve achieved with their families and their loved ones. Home away from home is very much for the people that we are doing it for.”

The win puts the side in third place with 35 points behind USA (38 points) and New Zealand (37 points) in the series standings.

Edited by Anasilini Natoga

Feedback: waisean@fijisun.com.fj

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