Fiji must maintain possession to win

Ana Lotaimi with Salanieta Yalimaiwai and Siteri Wati welcome Alasio Naduva at Nadi International Airport yesterday. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

FIJI Airways Fiji 7s lack of possession can become their worst enemy says former Fiji 15s assistant coach Reverend Joji Rinakama.

Rinakama assisted Ilivasi Tabua in coaching the Flying Fijians when they made the quarter-final against South Africa in the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France.

The former Naitasiri mentor analysed the performance of the Fiji 7s team this season and was confident they can win their fourth series title next month.

In the past tournaments, Fiji’s opponent had been seen keeping the possession longer and at times wasted time during the scrums and lines-outs.

However, Rinakama said the players needed to keep cool and fight for the possession to win the 2017/2018 HSBC World Sevens Series.

“The players were very confident in whatever decisions they made on the field in terms of attack, speed and defence and that is how you win tournaments. There are times when players lose concentration and lose their cool when they are frustrated.

“Fiji can do it in the remaining two tournaments and they can score from anywhere on the field. The team has got the height advantage. The team need to watch their kick off and restarts to try and win possession. Once Fiji gets the possession then they can do anything on the field to score tries.”

Rinakama said he was confident of the team as is was not impossible for Fiji 7s team to win the series.

“When the players are defending they have to be patient and do not rush into tackles which can ground them with yellow cards and they would have to miss two minutes of the match. Nothing is impossible for Fiji 7s.”

“The players do not have to be frustrated when without the ball and fighting for possession. Fiji’s opponents always know takes the possession and tries to take control of the possession and frustrates Fijian players.”