Need To Handle Pressure: Baber

“The merit ritual, you tune on to prepare differently. We have played eight matches this weekend. That certainly has a place for conditioning; especially mentally, the way you need to be.
02 Mar 2021 14:12
Need To Handle Pressure: Baber
Fiji Barbarians rep, Asaeli Tuivuaka tries to escape a tackle from a Wardens player during the Nawaka 7s at Prince Charles Park in Nadi on February 27, 2021. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA.

The 34th Fiji Bitter Nawaka 7s has really tested the Gareth Baber coached teams – Fiji Warriors and Fiji Barbarians.

Despite the result, Fiji Warriors coming out winners over Fiji Barbarians 24-12, it depicted an electrifying battle witnessed under the floodlights at the Prince Charles Park, Nadi last Saturday night.

Baber said, “Obviously, it tested us in various ways some of the teams like Army and Uluinakau really pushed us. Against Police barring a drop of the ball or finding something in these games is exactly where we need to be.”

Baber classified the semi-final as the ideal games tester in the competition.

“The best game of the day was in the semi-final. It was a tough competition against Police and Raiwasa as we have played them a few times.  The way we played was fantastic.

“The merit ritual, you tune on to prepare differently. We have played eight matches this weekend. That certainly has a place for conditioning; especially mentally, the way you need to be.

“It does not necessarily prepare you for eight games like the Olympics. It is really to look into how we will perform in six games over two days.

“We learn from Nawaka. While we have 16 teams in the tournament, we have 12 teams in the Olympics. We need to be put under pressure like this weekend, the whole team and the staff. We managed and we were pretty good at it.

Baber on discipline

He said the quarter-final brawl between Police White and Raiwasa/ Taveuni that ended with two red cards and a total of five yellow cards was sickening.

“It was an unsavory match in the quarter-final against Raiwasa /Taveuni, I was disappointed with that. The Police is a good team and has great players. I do get disappointed sometimes when there is ill-discipline especially what you saw in the middle of that one.

“It sums the whole tournament as everyone saw. Generally in Fiji, we need to be better. All my players are better in discipline and we are learning all the time. Across the board here in Fiji, we need players to play the beautiful game as it is all about the ball and the movement, pace.

During the two-day tournament a total of 18 red cards and 188 yellow cards (130 on day two alone) were flashed.

“That’s just too many. The whole world will look at that. It is a work where we all work together, as a group of coaches we need to take responsibility. We are the ones that educate the players on how to play the game but not push it back to the player and say you are a ‘bad boy’ in the middle of it.

“Those are one of the consequences we are working with the coaches to obviously coach the boys to play the game.”

Tournament organizer Jeff Tamata said, “the tournament once again lived to its expectation on the field. The final showcasing the two national teams is great. The crowd would watch them on media but tonight they saw champagne sevens rugby.”

He confirmed that the Head coach Gareth Baber had returned the winner $10,000 and runner up $5,000 to them.

Tamata thanked Baber for his commitment and said they would hand over this prize-money of $15,000 to other winners such as the semi-finalist in all categories.



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