Baber aims for top pool finish

Fiji Airways men’s sevens squad members at Nadi International Airport yesterday. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

FIJI Airways national 7s coach Gareth Baber is gunning for a top pool finish against quality oppositions in a bid to qualify for the eliminations of the first 2018-2019 World Rugby HSBC Sevens Series tournament which starts in Dubai next week.

The national side is grouped with Scotland, France and Kenya. With four players, Beniamino Vota, Ratu Meli Derelagi, Filimoni Botitu and Aminiasi Tuimaba, making their debut in the series, Baber said the key was to get through that pool stages and finish at the top so they would be continuing on the path that they needed to.

“Many have seen us play on occasions that we have had trouble with teams we potentially should not have even on their performances in the tournament,” he said. “At times we have been in the right mental state to do what we need to do in the pool stage.”

Fiji last won the Dubai 7s title in 2015.

Baber said it would be a tough task considering that they were in a very strong pool.

“We know that in the first tournament we play France, Scotland and Kenya and all three of them are all capable of creating problems in the pool games,” he said.

“It will be very different games that three of the teams will play but we will have to plan to ensure that we are aware of what we need to do in those games to get our results. “Whatever happens in the other pools then there will be a cross over and then we will look at our options.

“Essentially, it is to get ourselves in the right mental state and frame to go and play those games.”

Baber said they would not take any teams lightly to ensure that they deliver for the nation.

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