The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team will do a lot of work before they play in the opening leg of the 2019/20 HSBC World Sevens Series. They start their campaign on December 5-7 in Dubai and a week later they’ll be defending the South Africa 7s title in Cape Town.
Last Saturday’s 22-7 loss to Australia in the Oceania 7s Championship men’s final is a blessing in disguise.
They blew away a 7-5 lead at halftime as the more experienced Aussies exploited areas of our play that we need to focus on.
These areas are:
- Discipline, where we need to avoid the yellow and red cards at any cost.
Again, veteran Sevuloni Mocenacagi was at the receiving end of a yellow at the start of the second half.
With a man down, the Australians took advantage of the situation with two quick tries.
- Wrong options, again the focus is on the decision-making process during pressure times.
Head coach Gareth Baber was waiting for these moments to see how the newcomers would react. Now he has a fair idea on how they are going to handle such a situation
- Miss-tackles, the need to connect with their first tackles and ground the ball carrier.
The players need to do this throughout the game- not only in the first half just like what happened on Saturday night.
Gracious In Defeat
As usual, Baber was gracious in defeat indicated that they will go back to the drawing board and try to improve on their mistakes before heading to the first leg of the Series.
For the first leg, it’s important that we should start well in Dubai and South Africa to put us in a good position throughout the series.
We should avoid the catching-up game but instead wrap up the series well before going into the final leg.
It’s not going to be easy but it can be done and help reduce the pressure as we head towards the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
Again, Baber should now have his best available 13-member team for the first leg.
Josua Vakurunabili, Sevu Mocenacagi, Meli Derenalagi, Jerry Tuwai, Vilimoni Botitu, Aminiasi Tuimaba, Waisea Nacuqu, Kavekini Tabu, Alasio Naduva, Livai Ikanikoda, Paula Dranisinukula (captain), Asaeli Tuivuaka, Simi Kuruvoli