SPORTS

Skipper Cup Premiership Games To Boost Our 7s Reps: Baber

Training and getting more game time during the Skipper Cup Premiership is an advantage for our Fiji Airways Fijian 7s players, says the head coach. Speaking to SUNsports, Gareth Baber
10 Aug 2020 13:37
Skipper Cup Premiership Games To Boost Our 7s Reps: Baber
From left: Fiji Airways Fijian 7s head coach Gareth Baber and strength and conditioning coach Naca Cawanibuka at Thomson Park, Navua on August 8, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Training and getting more game time during the Skipper Cup Premiership is an advantage for our Fiji Airways Fijian 7s players, says the head coach.

Speaking to SUNsports, Gareth Baber said with the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games being 10 months away and the World Sevens Series being cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the players were fortunate to be out there playing.

“It’s going to test their fitness level and set their mindset of retaining the Olympic gold medal,” Baber said.

“The boys are lucky to be having game time ahead of the rest of the international teams.

“The boys train with us daily and in amongst that they are playing fifteens.

“I think that’s a great position for us and it’s a massive advantage to us at the moment.”

Sign of growth

Nippy playmaker Napolioni Ratu has been in impressive form for Yasawa Marlins where he was joined by Kalione Nasoko, Rusiate Matai and Waisea Nacuqu.

Sevuloni Mocenacagi and Apenisa Cakaubalavu played their first Skipper Cup games for Nadroga. Also with them are Isoa and Kavekini Tabu.

Livai Ikanikoda came in as a substitute for Naitasiri in the double-header clash last Saturday. Joining him are Anasa Qaranivalu and Nasoni Tulavu while Alasio Naduva, Meli Derenalagi, Terio Tamani, Jiuta Wainiqolo are with the Suva side.

Robust Asaeli Tuivuaka and Josua Vakurunabili are with the Farebrother-Sullivan Trophy holders, Namosi.

Winger Aminiasi Tuimaba and Vilimoni Botitu have left our shores to join their clubs in France.

Captain Paula Dranisinukula is on injury rehab while Jerry Tuwai is still reconsidering his options.

Tuwai plays for his Newtown club in the Nasinu Rugby Union competition.

“My intentions is to keep the pressure on them during these games and see how they react and adapt on the type of scenarios they experience on the field,” Baber said.

“The first thing is to cope with the scrutiny and the attention which is about how they compete with players who are bigger and powerful than them at times.

“Also the time they get from physicality I’ve been very pleased with the way players have dealt with that and haven’t got hot-headed.

“They got to be disciplined and realise that it’s part of their growth as players.”

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedbacksimione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj



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