Key Areas Vital: Cotter

Local players playing in the Skipper Cup competition will have to adapt to the areas of play revealed by Flying Fijians head coach Vern Cotter.
19 Jan 2021 11:22
Key Areas Vital: Cotter
Namosi captain and No.8 Sakiusa Nadruku controls play against Nadroga during their successful double-header clash at Ratu Cakobau Park, Nausori on September 19,2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Expect an exciting 2021 Skip­per Cup competition where teams are expected to lift their performance to suit the Fly­ing Fijians structure.

After a good season last year, the eight teams will now have to adapt to key game areas and familiarize themselves to the Flying Fijians set up.

Two years out from the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France Flying Fijians head coach Vern Cotter has indicat­ed a few areas which players should adapt to.

Speaking to Sun sports from New Zealand Cotter said teams were to develop the key areas.

“We don’t want to dictate one style but have teams develop their play­ers and teams with their own iden­tity, but respect key fundamentals and most importantly enjoy the game,” he said.

“A couple of key areas will be set piece, discipline, kick strategy and work rate.”

Adapting to these areas will en­able fans to expect fast pace rugby, clinical executions mixed with try scoring opportunities and most im­portantly a hard and clean game of rugby.

Cotter urged team trainers and coaching staff to lift their condi­tioning programme to help boost the tempo of the games.

“Standards must be set with a new mindset that drives the players into sustaining good nutrition,” he said.

“Strength and conditioning coach­es should prepare good training program for the teams.”

“They should set the standards in making sure that the players are able to raise the pace and the tempo of the game.”

Cotter stressed that set pieces was an important part of the game that needed to be monitored.

“Not all teams have the same need but generally it is important to im­prove,” he said.

With time on our side to the 2023 Rugby World Cup the onus is on the local players and the teams to make sure they follow the structure which will help the local players if they are to be selected to the nation­al team.

The challenge will be laid to the powerhouse sides in the competi­tion teams such as Nadroga, Suva, Naitasiri and Namosi to set the standard in executing the areas in­dicated by Cotter.

A glimpse of the structure was displayed by the Flying Fijians when they defeated Georgia 38-24 to secure seventh place at the Autumn Test last year.

Fiji ran in six tries to beat Georgia in an entertaining clash where the team executed the key areas indi­cated by Cotter that was mixed with power and pace.

Now the opportunity to lift the standard of our rugby to match Tier 1 nations is here.Gone are the days we admire the way they play.

Time will tell on how our provin­cial teams will adapt to the key ar­eas and adapt to the structure.

One thing is for sure when our teams adapt and execute Cotter’s suggestions expect to see entertain­ing rugby that will lift the standard of our rugby to another level and most importantly help our local player fit into the Flying Fijians set up.

Fijian players are known for flair rather than structure, One won­ders if we combine the two with the outcome that will definitely pay off at the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.



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