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4th World Sevens Series Title Long Overdue

Our Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team needs to up the ante in the new season. After capping off 2018 with a win at the World Sevens Series in Cape Town,
04 Jan 2019 10:36
4th World Sevens Series Title Long Overdue
The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team cooling off in Cape Town during the first leg of the World Sevens Series.

Our Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team needs to up the ante in the new season.

After capping off 2018 with a win at the World Sevens Series in Cape Town, the Gareth Baber –coached side need to keep the momentum at the Hamilton and Sydney tournaments later this month.

Discipline has been an issue for Baber’s team this season.

Among the top five teams in the Series, Fiji has received the most cards, including six yellows and one red card

We may be a force on the sevens circuit but consistency and discipline is what’s lacking in our game over the years.

That’s why our success rate is minimal on the World Sevens Series compared to New Zealand.

Since the World Sevens Series started in 1999, we won the title three times in the last 19 years.

This was during the 2005-2006 season under Waisale Serevi and 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons under Englishman Ben Ryan.

New Zealand has been the consistent team over the years winning the series 12 times, South Africa three and Samoa one.

We were runners up six times and last year we were on track to win the title but gave it away in the last tournament in Paris.

 

Turning things around

This has been the trend over the years and the Kalione Nasoko-captained team needs to turn things around and establish our dominance for real in the 7s circuit.

Much will depend on the players and it is important they have the right mindset going into every tournament.

They need to have the right attitude, mentally and physically focused to produce results.

The return of senior players Paula Dranisinukala and Josua Vakurinabili would add depth to the squad and provides options for Baber

With new Strength & Conditioning coach Ian Gibbons joining the team, they need to hit the right physical and mental state going into the Hamilton-Sydney tournaments.

 

Tokyo Olympics

The World Sevens Series is important this year as the top four teams automatically qualify for 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

As defending champion we need to do our best to retain the Hamilton 7s title and win the Sydney 7s for the first time.

The challenge is on the players to get it right and be consistent throughout.

It’s unfortunate that the last time we won a tournament title was during the gold medal win at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

We missed out on the Rugby Sevens World Cup, Commonwealth Games and World Sevens Series titles in 2018.

On January 26-27 in Hamilton is a right time to start afresh as winning our 4th World Sevens Series title has been long overdue.

-edited by Sheldon Chanel

Feedback:  oseab@fijisun.com.fj

 

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