Baber impressed with 15s competition

Fiji Airways Fiji 7's team head coach Gareth Baber during their gym training at Laucala. Picture: RAMA/FILE

The Fiji 7s team head coach Gareth Baber continues to be impressed with the performance of local players in the Skipper Cup and Farebrother Sullivan Trophy challenge.

Speaking to this newspaper on Saturday, Baber said local rugby competitions had improved and the standard of players performances had changed a lot compared with what he saw three years ago.

Baber witnessed one of the country’s best Farebrother challenge when Namosi edged Naitasiri 17-15 to retain the holy grail of Fiji Rugby.

“Both teams showed sheer pace and power throughout the match,” he said. “From the first kick to the final whistle, it was running rugby and the set pieces were organised perfectly from the scrumhalves. During the match Baber wanted to see stand-out individuals who could be part of his training squad for the Olympics Games next year.

“I was impressed with the performances of 30 players,” said Baber.

“They did what they were supposed to do in the field but Namosi played until the last whistle and they controlled possession even though they were trailing in the final quarter of the game.”

Namosi led 12-7 in the half-time break then they extended the lead in the second half to 17-15 to win the match and their first defend of the Farebrother trophy.

In other results, Nadroga thrashed Tailevu 33-3, Lautoka edged Yasawa 14-12 and Suva beat Nadi 20-15 in the third round of the Skipper Cup competition.

This Saturday, there won’t be any Farebrother challenge as Namosi travels to the West to face Yasawa, Nadi to take on Lautoka, Tailevu to meet Suva and Nadroga to host Naitasiri.

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