Opinion | SPORTS

Asuad Ali: ‘It’s Now Or Something’s Got To Give’

If anything, Fiji lacks the strategy, the tactical and technical lace, determination and cohesiveness, the necessary cog to wheel the team to win championships.
31 Jan 2020 12:38
Asuad Ali: ‘It’s Now Or Something’s Got To Give’
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s captain Meli Derenalagi (middle) with Ireland captain Billy Dardis (left) and Scotlabnd captain Robbie Fergusson in Sydney on January 29, 2020. Photo: World Rugby

Our struggle to find the best footing at the 2019-2020 World Sevens Series seems to deepen by the cluster.

What started for the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s in Dubai continues to be replicated.

And after three tournaments, there’s no sign of improvement.

Every indication is the team has hit the cud-de-sac (deadend), it was evidently the case against Argentina, who made the team look ordinary following their 26-10 win in the final pool game that eliminated them from the semifinal.

It is pity the team didn’t take them seriously after their Dubai debacle that averted Fiji out of the Cup quarterfinals for the first time in the 21-year history of the World Sevens Series.

For coach head Gareth Baber and his team, it’s just not coming together.

Around the same time last year, Fiji had safely tucked away the Cape Town and Hamilton Sevens and the prospect looked ever so promising.

Something is not right

Fast forward the new season, the agonising run continues to pile up and it sure suggests something is not right.

So, what could be the problem?

It isn’t because of the lack of hustle; it isn’t because the idea isn’t good enough.

It is because the team doesn’t have a format, and as much Baber says he has one, it has not come into play after the three rounds on the circuit.

If anything, Fiji lacks the strategy, the tactical and technical lace, determination and cohesiveness, the necessary cog to wheel the team to win championships.

While Fiji beat South Africa for the 9th place finish, it is the Argentina game that tested our mettle, from poor ball handing, offload mistakes and selfish play.

For the team also appeared mentally unprepared and looked lethargic.

Their performance was much like Samoa and the Australia games, that exposed the weakness, the difference, the 19-12 wins came on the back of urgency following the lackluster Dubai and Cape Town Sevens performance.

The sense of failure is being felt among the diehards as the team is struggling in every facet of the game and as fans they believe they deserve better from Baber’s best deck at hand.

Looking ahead to Tokyo

And with what we got in the deck sure raises the representation question, and that are we ready to defend our Olympic sevens title in Tokyo, Japan.

Baber has a good few days to identify the wrongs ahead of the Sydney Sevens or face the likelihood of getting obliterated again.

It is now or something’s got to give and no guesses here.

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback: oseab@fijisun.com.fj

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