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Grow Up, Baber Warns

Happy to be home: Fiji Airways Fijian 7s rep Aminiasi Tuimaba with family and friends at the Nadi International Airport on December 18, 2019. Photo: Waisea Nasokia
19 Dec 2019 13:58
Grow Up, Baber Warns
Happy to be home: Fiji Airways Fijian 7s rep Aminiasi Tuimaba with family and friends at the Nadi International Airport on December 18, 2019. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Coach Gareth Baber said it’s the ‘end of the world’ for the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s side if they don’t fix their discipline in the remaining eight tournaments of the World Sevens Series.

The team arrived yesterday after a poor performance in the first cluster of the World Seven Series in Dubai and Cape Town.

Fiji failed to make the Cup quarterfinal in Dubai to finish 9th and was fourth in Cape Town after losing to France 29-24 in the bronze medal playoff.

Overall Fiji is trailing sixth spot with 23 points behind joint leaders New Zealand (41), South Africa (41), France (29) in third, Argentina (24) and England on fourth and fifth respectively.

Baber admitted that discipline remained the Achilles Heel for the defending series champions- Fiji copped six yellow cards in Dubai and five in Cape Town.

“We were quite short by quite a stretch,” he said.

“Discipline has really let us down. This has been well documented. We know that as a group we have to take a lot of real learnings of what we have gone through.

“There is a bit of soul searching for some of the players. Some individuals have to grow up in circumstances we find ourselves in and take responsibility for the actions on the field. Of course, I know that we have got the talent to do what we need to do but we are killing ourselves. And that was evident in the two tournaments that we played in.”

Baber added that he will be looking at the players in the extended squad but on merit.

“We went on the series last year and won five tournaments. We have just gone through two and we are not even on that standard that at the end of the last season,” he added.

“As the management, we have looked at the reasons why it is. We have to ask ourselves tough questions as to the players as well.

“We know that we have got Christmas period heading into Hamilton and Sydney.

“It is not the end of the world now. But it will be the end of the world if we don’t decide to do something about it.

“But for now it’s time for the players to reflect and get back with families.

“They’ve got a clear message. That’s between me and them!” said Baber on the message to his men during the upcoming festive season.”

The next stop is the Hamilton Sevens on January 25-26.

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback: waisean@fijisun.com.fj

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