Hamilton 7s: Baber happy with team

Fiji Airways Fiji 7's coach Gareth Baber with the team during the training at Waikato Marist Rugby Football ground for the weekend HSBC Hamilton sevens yesterday. Picture: RAMA

FIJI Airways Fiji 7s coach Gareth Baber is pushing for best performance from his men before they start the defence of the New Zealand 7s this weekend.

Baber’s men had a scrimmaging session against Canada on Monday and yesterday touched on team combination three days away from kick-off against Wales.

Fiji worked on its kick-off and split into two teams for an intensity session to perfect their combination in the lead-up to Saturday.

“We had a good sharp session with intensity that we bring into our games. That’s what we focused on,” Baber said.

“We played on the skills that we developed because that is how we will enter into our games this weekend. Everybody and every team in this tournament are working towards their plans and looking to topple Fiji”

He said he had been driving on improving the performance of players because this year’s New Zealand 7s would be tougher than last year.

“We are defending and by virtue we are defending five tournaments this season. We don’t talk huge about that. We work on the performance we are capable of setting daily. When we don’t hit those performance level, we look at the reasons why and we ensure that the players are aware of that and do something about that and don’t repeat the mistakes.

“We keep moving forward even though we have memories here, but we keep on moving forward. This is a completely different tournament and we just have to look at teams such as Spain which frightened everybody in the first two tournaments. That level is ever increasing and more teams are now capable of beating each other. So we have to look after our mindset and look after our games and deliver what we do.”

He said new faces such as Meli Derenalagi, Vilimoni Botitu and Aminiasi Tuimaba had blended well in training.

“The new boys are good. The players know each other and look after each other well. It is unfortunate that the boys in the under-20 had just a period of time after they returned from the under-20 competition. Jerry (Tuwai) has spoken to them about the importance of leadership and he is happy with how respectful they (new players) are. They are humble and making sure they do the best they can do to put Fiji at the top.”

Baber is expected to name his run on team on Saturday, saying it would keep other teams guessing on Fiji’s tactics.

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