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Smart rugby

Pravin Narain
Friday, February 23, 2018

FIJI Airways Fiji 7s team players should not get frustrated when they do not have possession, but stay calm and fight to get possession.

This is the view of former Flying Fijians assistant coach Reverend Joji Rinakama as he previews next weekend's USA 7s in Las Vegas.

Rinakama said England had been using this tactic whenever they met Fiji as the Simon Amour-coached side always try to maintain possession as long as they could before launching their attack.

Rinakama said Fiji needed to play smart rugby as shown in the New Zealand 7s in Hamilton.

"The players did the basics right and they won the Hamilton 7s. The players have what it takes to win in terms of fitness and skills as they had been training together for a long time," Rinakama said.

"Fijian players have the right mentality to win the tournaments as they showed against Australia, Samoa, New Zealand, and South Africa in crucial matches as they enjoyed themselves playing the Fijian style of rugby.

"Fiji was very committed during the rucks as whenever the ball carrier went to the ground there were players around him to take the ball from the ruck and recycle to the support players. They were fast and were very good because they were very fit."

The Gareth Baber-coached side copped eight yellow cards including four in Hamilton 7s as Mesulame Kunavula (2), Eroni Sau and Josua Vakurinabili all got booked in the tournament.

"The players need to be more disciplined as there were a lot of yellow cards in the last tournament and cut the small mistakes such as knock-ons; and get the right time to pass and utilise possession.

"When players contest restarts or receive the ball they have to be very careful since teams do not want Fiji to have possession because when they get the ball they would be lethal and dangerous.

"When in defence they do not have to put pressure on themselves and get frustrated, but work hard to get the ball. If they get frustrated, they can get sin-binned easily and it can cost the game for Fiji."

Fiji is pooled with Kenya, France, and Russia in Pool A for the USA 7s to be played from March 2-4 at the Sam Boyd Stadium in Nevada.

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