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Heading to Vegas

Fred Wesley
Friday, March 02, 2018

National sevens coach Gareth Baber is probably feeling the heat right now as we count down to the start of the USA tournament of the World Rugby Sevens Series this weekend. Not that it is a bad thing though.

In fact Baber admits there is pressure for his players as they prepare themselves for this weekend's outings.

The pressure, he said yesterday, is coming from the fans who have very high expectations.

Following our win in Hamilton last month, the mood is actually vibrant leading up to tomorrow.

Baber said a one-week training camp in Arizona helped the team to focus on the task ahead and at the same time adapt to the cold weather.

Baber said he had worked out plans on how to attack Fiji's opponents based on the talents he had in the team.

As the temperature hit a low of six degrees Celsius this week, Baber and the team know it isn't going to be smooth sailing.

The players, he said, had adapted to the change in weather and they are actually looking forward to a top effort in Vegas.

As he prepares to name his participating team today, there is great hope that our victory in Hamilton will serve as a positive catalyst this weekend.

We headed into the Sam Boyd Stadium in Vegas last year as defending champions and came off lamenting our discipline issues with a slump in performance.

This weekend, fans will no doubt be hoping to relive that unforgettable moment in Vegas back in 2016 when we rode on the back of the hype generated by the monster cyclone Winston which struck us in February that year.

The setting is a whole lot different this time around, but with that same sense of hope.

There can be no doubts about the fact that when we take on the might of Russia, France and Kenya, Fijians will unite behind the team.

We hope Baber and the team will remember that as the cheers in Vegas reach dizzying heights.

We hit a brick wall in Sydney this year, but recovered to topple the best in Hamilton the very next weekend.

It confirms we have what it takes to win big matches.

The challenge for us though is to maintain consistency this weekend.

Baber's men must run out tomorrow with the knowledge that they have the support of Fijians around the world who expect them to give Vegas their best shot. That is the least we can ask of them in a highly competitive sevens circuit that has no minnows any more. Go Fiji, go.

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