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7s downfall

Emoni Narawa
Monday, February 04, 2013

FORMER Australian sevens international Wise Kativerata said the players should not be victimised following Fiji's performance at the HSBC Sevens World Series at the Wellington Sevens tournament over the weekend.

However, he says the coaches need to find an equation to match the modernised sevens rugby on the International Rugby Board Sevens Series.

He said Fiji's expansive rugby style has been verified by teams like Scotland, Australia and they have adopted ways to counter Fiji.

The Australian Institute of Sports coach said Fiji could not rely on its past performance to steer the wheel for upcoming tournaments.

"We cannot blame the players for what happened in Wellington. Our expansive Fijian rugby game is our major downfall now," he said.

"Other teams have verified our performance and they are using it to counter us.

"What the coaches needed to do is to find ways to be always one step ahead from other teams.

"We have nine selectors whom I believe can come up with an idea to get Fiji back to where it is supposed to be.

"We have named the best 12 players before the tournament but it is the job of the coach to maintain the best from the players.

"The players cannot perform to their best if they are not given the right direction of where to move on the field."

He said Fiji's defence was again exposed in Wellington.

The Gold Coast Titan defence coach said Scotland knew how to beat Fiji.

"Scotland are using our open rugby game against us nowadays.

"They open up the game and attack our players on one-on-one situation in the midfield because they know that we lack the tackle technique, mental toughness and strength to stop them," the former Fiji Bati rep said.

Fiji Rugby Union coaching director Franck Boivert said the long term plan was for players to work hard on defensive skills.

"Fiji defence was not always bad in past tournaments, but for sure the coaching staff will go over the principles of defence.

"It seems to me that pressure defence fits better for Fiji until we develop players who can win the one-on-one in defence."

"The short term plan is to play pressure defence, long term is to have players work hard on defensive skills at practice (50 percent of practice should be devoted to defence) and to improve their one on one skills through sports like judo and wrestling," Boivert added.

Fiji has been drawn with England, Scotland and Portugal in Pool A at the Las Vegas tournament.

Fiji is now fourth on IRB 7s points standing.





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