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Fiji's strength in the character

Opinions / Analysis

IF the failures of Fiji Airways Fijian men’s 7s team made you bitter then it’s the strength in their character that will rejoice you.


There is a renewed sense of determination that have the team so focus on the Cathey Pacific Hong Kong Sevens.

Head coach Gareth Baber understands what this one cluster means to the nation and Fijians world over.

He couldn’t have emphasized more the dire need to retain the title after the failed runs at the Sydney, USA and Canada 7s.

Evidently, Baber was not impressed with the last three legs, admitted the failures have only made the team grow up and become mature.

“The preparedness of the last few weeks have been about the strength of the character”, he said.

“It made the core realize the importance of Hong Kong and then Singapore. Hong Kong is very special for the players and the nation. They’re in it to win it”.  

It is often said, we change when we feel the heat, not when we see the light.

When you fail, the need is to get your attention to move you in a new direction.

Baber’s team has learned good lessons after not winning the last three legs, that is, they’ve grown out of making unforced errors for the better.

“We’re focusing on the quality of techniques the players have to put in especially under pressure. Notably things like kick-off, restart is very important to be able to control the possession and put our style of game against our opponents”.

Hong Kong is considered by far as Fiji’s home away from home, the team finds its rhythm, rolls out the Fijian flair and brings the best out in each other.

“There are many aspects that I look at individually and also what the team needs to be able to deliver. From a restart, to a throw in to catch and pass plus to tackles. That’s really what the beauty of rugby is, not just one trick you are looking from one player. You should be able to combine those tricks in a player to be able to put all those roles into a team to form the game you want,” Baber told RUGBY.com.

Except for Livai Ikanikoda and Napolioni Ratu, the rest of the team have sponged in enough positives to hit the Hong Kong Sevens podium, the Fijian grace certainly awaits, impossible is nothing.

The team must though, remain focused, avoid distraction and maintain discipline at all times.

They need to play for the team and one another.

“All players have prepared well and shown focus over our time so far and all are fit and ready to go”, said Baber.

The fact that there are teams that have yet to win at Hong Kong, let alone a quadruple title and here Fiji is going for its unprecedented quintuple, the gladiators can’t rest on their laurels, they have their work cut out for them.

And minus, Kaliono Nasoko, Waisea Nacuqu and Mesulame Kunavula, every member will have to extract that extra oxygen game in and out.

The stage is set for the team to turn the failures into triumph through the strength in character and get joyous.

Yes, we can.


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