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Time for Mocenacagi to go

Opinions / Analysis

SEVULONI Mocenacagi’s Olympic Games dream with the national men’s sevens team is over.

National coach Gareth Baber dropped him from the squad pre­paring for the 2021 Tokyo, Japan Olympic Games.

Mocenacagi’s contract was also terminated by Fiji Rugby Union over indiscipline.

The decision could not have served the habitual offender any better.

While Mocenacagi is an amazing athlete, his strength in breaking the first line of defense and creat­ing space and offload, he also had a bad temper that caught up with a brutal contract termination.

The ‘Lamp Post’, a given name by commentators for his height also lost his income and the opportuni­ty of his life to represent the coun­try in the 2021 Olympic Games.

The ingrained warrior that he was, quiet but also trenchant of Fiji’s defeats.

He easily got all worked up, either as an instigator and or retaliator, and let the country down through ejections and even thwarted Fiji’s chances on standing on the top of the podium.

The buck had to stop somewhere and if it did not during the HSBC World Rugby Seven Series, it final­ly did as Baber had enough of him and the FRU, saw him as a liability on the team.

They suspended him for 12 games after he was red carded twice in the first leg of the Fiji Rugby Super 7s Series at Lawaqa Park, worse off, he intentionally threw the ball at referee Paula Racaca.

When he returned from suspen­sion, he again got red carded in the tournament he played in.

If we remember in the 2017 Las Vegas 7s final against South Af­rica, Mocenacagi was sent off late in the game.

Eager to regather the restart in the final play of the match, he carelessly took out Werner Kok in the air, with the South African landing dangerously on his shoulder/head. Kok understandably was not pleased and reacted accordingly.

His actions toward Mocenacagi were a little over the top but were not deemed serious enough to warrant a card.

Mocenacagi however, was not so lucky as by the letter of the law, he was shown a straight red card by the referee.

The clumsy challenge on Kok, ended with Fiji losing 19-22 in an otherwise entertaining final.

Again, in the 2018, Dubai 7s cup quarter final against the United States, he was yellow carded for a high tackle on Perry Baker.

He was also sent off in the Commonwealth Games final in Gold Coast, Australia against New Zealand and his victim was Kurt Baker.

Mocenacagi grabbed hold of Baker’s neck, it shows that he easily loses his temper while under pressure.

Baber has always emphasized on his players to maintain strict discipline, but his messages does not seem to get across to some, and Mocenacagi being one.

He has copped 11 yellow cards and 2 reds leading up to him being let go.

Players who get angry in sports are because of lack of self-esteem, compounded with the feeling of not being on equal strength and skill and that frustrates them, and frustration can lead to reactive aggression.

As such, Fiji 7s players need to be taught how to be aware of their emotions as well as how to modulate them.

If they cannot be disciplined, then having behavioral counselling is the best advice.

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