SPORTS

Start Clean, Drop Old Guard

This is again out of the ordinary and enough is enough as we have seen enough of Mocenacagi’s bad habits.
24 Jan 2021 14:26
Start Clean, Drop Old Guard
Yamacia prop Sevuloni Mocenacagi (left) leaves the field after shown the red card for a dangerous on January 23, 2021. He served his match suspension and was again red carded yesterday for throwing the ball at the referee. Photo: Leon Lord

Fijian 7s coach Gareth Baber will need to base his future selection on players who play by the rules.

He needs to start clean and rid of the old guard who continues to baffle fans by committing the same offence now and again after years playing on the World Sevens Series.

We can’t afford to take players who continue to be a constant risk, letting the team down by being sent off for committing rugby’s cardinal sin time and again.

Yesterday, national squad member Sevuloni Mocenacagi received his second red card in two days and Baber should drop him from the squad. He committed something out of the ordinary.

The Yamacia forward was red carded on the first day of the Super 7s Series for a late charge on Ratu Filise’s Wame Ratuva.

Fijian 7s head coach Gareth Baber during the Super Sevens Series at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka. Photo: Leon Lord

Fijian 7s head coach Gareth Baber during the Super Sevens Series at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka. Photo: Leon Lord

He was banned for two games and he never seemed to learn.

Yesterday, he copped his second red card for throwing the ball at the referee in the Bowl semifinal against Fire.

This is again out of the ordinary and enough is enough as we have seen enough of Mocenacagi’s bad habits.

Instead of being an asset, he continues to be a liability to the team when he loses his cool.

*He was red carded in the USA 7s Cup final against South Africa in Las Vegas in 2017;

*His sending off at the 2018 Commonwealth Games final against New Zealand proved costly for Fiji;

*He missed three games in Las Vegas in 2019 after being red carded at the Sydney Sevens.

It seems old habits die hard and Mocenacagi must be given timeout from representing Fiji.

The Super 7s Series was incepted to provide game time and an opportunity for players to be included in national 7s squad.

Unfortunately, senior players continued to be on the wrong end of the law.

Apart from Mocenacagi, Teri Tamani was also yellow carded for a late charge.

Perhaps the Super 7s Series should be a gauge and players who get carded constantly in the remaining three legs should not be considered for selection.

It should be one of the selection criteria to make players learn and be alert at all times.

Perhaps all should learn from World Rugby 7s Player of the Decade, Seremaia ‘Jerry’ Tuwai.

Since making his debut in 2014, playing 294 matches in the World Sevens Series, he copped 4 yellow and no red cards.

Compared to Mocenacagi, he played in 195 matches, 11 yellow and 2 red cards.

This is why Tuwai, the 7s player he is because he plays by the rule, respects friends and foes.

Cards always proved costly for Fiji in the past and we need to let go of the old guard like Mocenacagi.

Feedback: oseab@fijisun.com.fj



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