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Determined to continue

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu
Friday, February 02, 2018

After seeing Baber contesting for the ball with Kunavula (F/T 01/02) my heart melted towards the Welshman. After all he is human and is not perfect and the 2017-18 WRSS, and the months of December and January have not been kind to Baber. Eleven tournaments in charge and Baber has only one win dating back to HK 7s 2017. When Baber took over, Fiji had won the 2014-15 and 2015-16 WRSS title and gold in Rio.

Baber made a flying start in 2017 in Wellington as Fiji won its pool games but lost to Africa in the Cup final. In Sydney, Fiji lost to Wales in pool play and NZ in the Cup quarter-final but we bounced back to win fifth place. In Las Vegas Fiji won its pool games but lost to Africa (19-12) in the Cup final.

In Vancouver all looked well until the thrashing we received at the hands of England (40-7) in the semis but we bounced to finish third. Fans were agitated but the gloomy period came to an end in HK as Fiji completed a hat-trick. In Singapore Fiji remained unbeaten in pool play but lost to USA and Africa in the Cup quarter-final and fifth place semis respectively. In Paris Fiji lost to Samoa in pool play, Scotland in the quarters and USA in the fifth place semis. In London Fiji ended in the trophy competition (Bowl) after losing to Canada and NZ in pool play. While we won this competition, fans were upset. Last December we finished fourth in Dubai after losing to Africa in the semis and England in the third/fourth place play-off.

In Cape Town we could not progress beyond the Cup quarters after we were bundled out by the hosts. However, we won fifth place. Fans witnessed another disastrous campaign in Sydney where USA and NZ thrashed us. So, ladies and gentlemen this is Baber's record with Fiji. Under Baber Fiji has played 64 matches and won 44, lost 19 and drew 1. His winning rate is 69 per cent. Fiji has one Cup title. We finished runner-up twice to the Boks, finished fifth twice and lost in the fifth place semis twice.

Fiji has finished third and fourth once and lost in the fifth place final once. Our boys have also won the trophy competition once. While I am happy that Baber is working hard with the boys in Hamilton, I am worried about his string of poor outings as the head coach. I rest my case here. My best wishes are with our 7s team!

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