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Tough mission in Hamilton

Maikeli Seru In Hamilton, New Zealand
Saturday, February 03, 2018

THE Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team coach Gareth Baber said their pool matches in the Hamilton 7s in New Zealand would be very difficult.

This is because of the experience and the know-how of playing rugby 7s by teams competing in the annual HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Gone are the days where Fiji could single-handedly control and dominate 7s tournaments.

Instead, the game has improved in players' knowledge of the game and by nations that used to face drubbing such as Russia, Spain, Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong.

"The defensive system has become so strong now. We got to find ways around the defence," he said after the national side's captain's run at the Marist Rugby Club grounds in Hamilton yesterday.

During training this week, the Jerry Tuwai-captained side had been working on set pieces and scissors passing, a trademark of Fijian teams in the past that allowed us to rule the rugby's abbreviated code.

"Set pieces are the way to win the ball. We win the ball, we control possession."

He said the first match against Wales, which had beaten Fiji in the past, would be unpredictable.

"Wales will be tricky like Samoa last week. They will test and challenge us, but we know that we have to put ourselves physically quickly into the game to be hard to be stopped.

"We want to start on the right note and that means a good game against Wales."

Fiji's other pool oppositions are Spain and Australia.

The tournament starts today.

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