7s finisher

SEVENS rugby focus moves to the Hong Kong 7s this weekend.

And with three days to kick-off the mecca of all tournaments in rugby’s abbreviated code, one of the renowned personalities of the tournament, Graham Eden, calls on the Vodafone Fiji 7s team to change its playing tactics to successfully defend the title.

Eden, known as the “Voice of Rugby” said the lack of finishers or speedsters and the neglect of rugby’s fundamental basics had been costing us wins in the ongoing HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Eden highlighted Fiji’s inability to move away from tackling above the neck and jersey and trousers pulling while defending.

“We have got to change our technique of tackling. The tackling in Fiji has always been around the neck or grabbing the jersey or pulling the jersey. It does not work in today’s modern game,” he said at his Flagstaff home in Suva, yesterday.

“Fiji needs to get back to the basics and should be learning these basic skills well if they (the players) want to improve their game.”

While 7s is a game of space and speed, Eden said the national side needed one or two speedsters to match the South Africans who currently have three, and had been consistent in the series.

“Samisoni Viriviri has lost pace. He is not the speedster that he was and we do not have an outstanding speedster like he was in his prime time. We need one (a speedster),” Eden said.

“A good speedster does not make necessarily a good rugby player and I think we definitely need a finisher such as Kurt Baker and Carlin Isles.”

The Fiji 7s team will be looking to defend the Hong Kong 7s title. Fiji first won the title 40 years ago in 1977 captained, coached and managed by Ratu Ilaitia Tuisese.

Meanwhile, national 7s manager Jone Niurua said the team continued training in Hong Kong yesterday.

Fiji plays its pool games against Japan at 11.54pm on Friday, versus Wales 5.52pm and against New Zealand 9.12pm on Saturday.

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