SPORTS

Baber Wary Of ‘Pool Threat’

Coach calls on rookies to lift their game when the going gets tough in Hamilton   The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team are focused on taking their pool opponents on
24 Jan 2019 10:00
Baber Wary Of ‘Pool Threat’
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s forward Mesulame Kunavula with Fijian fans after their training run in Hamilton on January 22, 2019. Photo: Suburbs Community.

Coach calls on rookies to lift their game when the going gets tough in Hamilton

 

The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team are focused on taking their pool opponents on Saturday before they turn their attention to Sunday’s playoffs of the New Zealand 7s tournament in Hamilton.

Speaking to SUNsports yesterday head coach Gareth Baber said, they are wary of their pool opponents of Australia, Argentina and Wales.

“We’ll not be taking them lightly,” Baber said.

“We’ll be opening our game against Wales and every first match is difficult because we’re not aware of where they are at that stage. We know that they have made some changes this year and have brought in a new coach.

“They’ll be a team that will try to hit us early so they can get their momentum going.  Obviously we’ll try and focus on the elements that we can control and play the game by ultimately utilising our power and the pace we’ve on the field.”

He pointed out that Argentina love to frustrate their opponents with possession as they always thrive on the contact area.

“So we’re going to be more patient and smart with the ball and don’t allow anyone from the opposition to come in and pinch that ball away.

“And then taking Australia in the last pool match will be a battle. They’ve got some good game breakers and they like to play with some good structure. They are a fit and an organised side so they are going to get out and go for the set pieces.

“We’ve got to break open that chaotic style of game and using our ball carriers to play the offload game. At the same we must keep the shape of their defence but things do change on the game day especially when we get on to the field. We’ve increased the intensity of our attacks and defence.”

 

POSITIONAL SWITCH

Baber said there is a high chance of using Sevuloni Mocenacagi in the backs.

“There is a possibility that we can have Sevuloni Mocenacagi on our backline either as a rover or a wing. We’re injury free and I’m pleased with everyone’s performance so far.”

Baber said the players are in a stronger place then what they used to be before.

“The players are more settled they know where they are in terms of their own contracts.”

However, he reiterated that rookies Filimoni Botitu, Meli Derenalagi and Terio Tamani need to know that are no longer newbies as they develop and adapt to the 7s game.

“My work as a coach is to continuously encourage them. However, Terio Tamani is in the playmaker’s position and obviously his learning bits and pieces every day.

“Previously he had been there when we went to Singapore so he’s aware of the standard of game we expect of him. He’s being working hard and has been spending time with Waisea Nacuqu and Jerry Tuwai where he is learning a lot from them.”

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

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