Fiji Airways Fiji Sevens head coach Gareth Baber is looking to replicate the result in the Cape Town 7s at the Hamilton sevens exclaiming that in order for this to be possible the boys will need to be in top shape.
“Conditioning level, fitness level was all on track (in South Africa) and the players know that to win any tournament they got to be at the top of that, and our defense in the semi at Cape Town 7s was good.”
Baber wants these areas to be part of their play come the Hamilton 7s, “I want us to be aggressive towards our opponents and making sure they don’t have the time and that space to create opportunities.”
Coming off the Christmas break, the Fiji Airways 7s squad worked hard on their conditioning, fitness, and defense with this week being a solid block where the boys will clocked upto 25 km on the training track, with a focus on performance under strain.
“Everytime we go away there is always pressure and I know more than most the expectation on them, so I tend to try to recreate that pressure in training, when they’re fatigued, so when the boys face that pressure on the field they know they can draw on the fact they worked harder in training.”
The Fiji Airways 7s squad had an afternoon session training on Wednesday playing against the Red Rock and the Fire 7s team where Baber tested his team’s fitness level and defense.
“I see the transference of what happened here when we’re under pressure to what happens in competition, being at last minute of the game, closing up of a game and that’s what happened Wednesday, where the boys played under pressure from Red Rock and Fire.”
Baber explained this is where the boys learn to adapt to these similar situations in the HSBC World Sevens Series and was pleased to see the boys cope well under some tough competition from their local opponents “The boys know they don’t get it all their own way when they play the local teams.
They were good here, and when they weren’t they went off and talked about it and returned on to put it in action. When you see how quick they adapt obviously the feedback system that we’re operating is working and that’s what I wanna see.” Baber added.
Baber further stated that he wanted to balance his lineup in the Hamilton 7s.
“We’ve got the likes of Josua Vakurunabuli coming back into the mix for Hamilton, who gives you different assets in the field and my job is to combine players like this with the best men that are possible, we got it right in South Africa but didn’t got it right in Dubai.”
He further added the pace of the game they needed where the boys will need to ensure to look after the ball and delivering that power where other teams find it hard to cope with.
Baber confirmed that some of the 7s squad will be playing at the Tabadamu 7s this week and also he will be out there to watch the local players showcase their talent.
“I want to witness some local players and as I said the door is always open,” Baber added.