Letters to the Editor: July 25

Picture: JOVESA NAISUA/FILE

Number one 7s fans
Although Fiji did not win the Melrose Cup, Fijian fans won fame and accolades for coming out in huge numbers and in an ocean of blue to support our national 7s team. It was home away from home for our boys. However, I pity the thousands of patriotic fans who travelled from all corners of the globe as they left AT&T Park disappointed and with heavy hearts after our boys faltered. To our 8th player — the fans, I salute you for making your presence felt and thank you for being number one fans! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Those fans again
The front page of The Fiji Times (24/07) acknowledged the Fiji fans at the Rugby World Cup Sevens, classifying them and boldly written ‘No.1 fans’.
Our Fiji team did not win gold, silver, bronze, team or player of the tournament, nevertheless, our consolation are our fans who according to Mr Gosper, “Fijian fans were the fans of the tournament this year”. I wonder what reward that is, being the fans of the tournament, may be just a consolation for our loss. Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane, Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

Time for change
He has failed to produce the results and it’s time for Baber to move on. Change should also happen at Rugby House. Naca Nabukavou, Vau St, Waqadra, Nadi

Bring back Ratu Peni
Our men’s 7s rugby team failed in the Commonwealth Games, 2017/2018 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens.
I believe some responsibility rests fairly and squarely with corporate decisions and orders/instructions from Rugby House in the Capital City.
Success is failure turned inside out. Hard decisions must be taken. Changes have to made. Heads must roll. Do not change things that work.
Please bring back Ben Ryan a.k.a. Ratu Peni Raiyani. We can afford him. Fiji 7s rugby has many very generous corporate gold medal sponsors.
Government can assist by making their contributions 150 per cent tax deductible. Identify 10 major sponsors. Accept minimum $100,000 each per year over four years. Fiji 7s rugby can easily have guaranteed minimum of $1 million each year and afford the best 7s coach we ever had. Ratu Peni understands our culture, tradition and won our immense respect. Please make him an immediate offer to return to his Fiji home. Lesu tale mai Ratu Peni Raiyani. Food for thought (thinking outside the box). Ronnie Chang, Nadi

Finding faults

It is clear that many more factors than just the coach have an impact upon a team success. The “ritual scape-goating” that is a common motive for sacking a coach often changes very little in the organisation. The question in everybody’s mind would be, should Gareth Baber continue as the Fiji sevens coach? The conclusion here is that if you sack a coach to appease fans, you’d better have a viable successor lined up. If you sack a coach to increase on-field performance, you’d better hope they can change a whole lot. The understanding is that we sack them because the results are not good enough, patience has run out and we see no prospects of a turnaround. Then comes the next question: if results are bad, is that necessarily the coach’s fault? And would sacking him, and replacing him, deliver good results? Bad results can be the fault of the coach or the players or a combination of both. A lot of people would like Baber to be sacked. Any decision on Baber’s future must not be made in haste. Yes, the nation is rightly disappointed by Fiji’s premature Rugby World Cup Sevens loss. I have listened to criticism on social media but I still believe Baber should continue. The reason is that a lot of players will move on with contracts and I believe Baber is the best person to mould a winning team for 2018-2019 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. He knows the extended squad and he has a better understanding of Fijian players now. Any changes made to the coaching panel must be made gradually with a lot of thought and planning. The worst thing to do is to make decisions while you are emotional. The fact is the Fiji team was outplayed in many facets of the game and a better team won. Coaches are accountable but changing coaches may make things worse, Ben Ryan knew this and he moved on a winning note. Disgruntled fans is a norm in Fiji but the Fiji Rugby Union has to make a wise and bold decision. Let’s not do more damage to the game of sevens. Our best players were outplayed, hence the players, like the coach, must all take responsibility for the loss. Let’s not find faults, let’s find remedies for a champion Fiji sevens team once again. DHARMENDRA KUMAR, Rewa St, Suva

Kiwi bird

Thank you Mr. Cartoonist (FT 24/07) for depicting the kiwi (bird) as not being lean and mean. Yes I am still hurting. Bad heart ga. Sigh, good luck New Zealand, after you played that awesome game with three yellow cards in one half against the French and still won, I know you had what it takes to be a champion team. So there you go, congratulations and sorry about that fat bird. Allen Lockington, Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Mosquito campaign
It is a good program that Wolbachia infected mosquitoes are being released in the Suva to Nausori corridor. This is a pilot study that is looking at the outcomes of introducing biological control measures to prevent dengue fever only. We will wait to see the outcomes and impact and if it works and is cost-effective then it should be rolled out to the other areas of Fiji where dengue fever is still affecting the people. But we should not go away from the support of clean-up campaigns especially at households where the mosquito and other insects and rodent breeding places are removed. We all need to work together and keep our surroundings and communities clean. The main focus should be on the squatter settlements that have overcrowding and improper waste disposal systems. The biological control measures need to work together with clean-up campaigns. This will reduce the incidence of other communicable diseases as well. Vineet Chand, Rakiraki

Times of change

THE smiling face of our hero and the outgoing Fiji Times Ltd general manager and publisher Hank Arts in yesterday’s paper brightened the day.
I applaud our veteran publisher for giving all that he had to take The Fiji Times to higher standards and heights. Mr Arts has decided that it’s time he hang his boots and take a break but his legacy will forever echo in The Fiji Times newsroom. His leadership steered The Fiji Times through unchartered and treacherous waters but The Fiji Times did not compromise journalism ethics and standards and to date our number one newspaper strides proudly to report the truth and believes in fair reporting. I accord a big vinaka vakalevu to Mr Arts for not giving up when the tide was against him and for holding the wheel when the ship required him the most. I just hope that journalists will take a cue from Mr Arts and learn to do their job in line with the ethics and spirit of journalism and fair reporting. Mr Arts, as you leave with and leave behind fond memories, thank you for leading the way. Sir, you will be missed by the readers! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Major setback

IT was a major setback and disappointment to see our sevens heroes returning home empty handed. Of course dreams were shattered for the players, their families and their well-wishers. Despite the outcome of the tournament, we have to stand together as a nation to support the boys in their future competitions and challenges. Not our time every time but surely we’ll come back stronger next time. To be honest, Semi Radradra was Fiji’s best performer at the event and I’d pick him for the dream team if I were one of the selectors. Congratulations to Fiji’s Team B – New Zealand.
With the blood, sweat and tears of our Fijians, they have won the World Cup and better luck next time to our gladiators! Raynav Chand, Nakasi

My predictions

ALLOW me to remind readers of this column about the predictions I made in two of my letters, which at the end of the sevens world cup were both right. In my first letter at the beginning of the 2017-2018 world sevens, I simply pointed out that Fiji will lose all the three titles on offer for 2018, World sevens series, Commonwealth, and world cup, for two simple reasons; 1. The injustice done to the extended sevens squad who have been sweating blood in their training, however, being overlooked when others from outside the squad are chosen ahead of them to represent Fiji in tournaments. 2. The coach’s lack of faith in the people who are in the extended sevens squad by always being vocal about the option of considering overseas base players for selection. My second letter was just last week when I argued that Fiji would not win the world cup when analysing the reasons given by Baber in dropping especially Eroni Sau and Vakurunabili who have been outstanding all throughout the year, saying he preferred speed and experience which is why Naduva and Jasa were chosen ahead of the two. Now after the world cup loss, Baber is already looking forward to the next sevens season and the Olympics, as highlighted in the front page of The Fiji Times 24/06 where he said “The group of players remain in Fiji and we need to prepare for the HSBC 7s series next season and potentially the year of the Olympics”. My message to Baber is this — Unless you have faith in the group of players who remain in Fiji, then Fiji will lose another sevens series title and potentially the Olympics. Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane, Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

Go Ba, go
NOW that the Rugby World Cup 7s has ended, another big tournament is here yet again. The Battle of the Giants. Go Ba, go … let’s get this one home! SAINIVALATI GAUNAVINAKA, Ba

Greener pastures
ALLEN Lockington’s advice on greener pastures (F.T 9/7/18) alerts those confused on seeking green grass on the other side. A farmer once had a horse refusing to eat dry grass. So the clever farmer put specs with green lenses on its eyes. The horse started eating. At times, we need to shift our views on how we see and deal with everyday issues. Tahir Ali, Hamilton, NZ

Bravo police
Nausori police are doing a splendid job with all the running around booking for parking issues etc. Bravo good job! How about the same enthusiasm in rainy weather? So many cars were parked in the “no parking” zone at Nausori market area on Saturday, July 21, but since it was raining no police officers were seen doing any bookings. Rules don’t change with the weather. Ashwini Basant, Vuci Rd, Nausori

Failure blame
I FIND Gareth Baber’s statements contradictory. Firstly, he urges his players not to be dwarfed by the negativity of their failure at the Rugby World Cup 7s. Then in the next breath, he criticises some of the players for their mistakes (FT24/7). I believe that will have a demoralising effect on the players concerned. Win or lose a coach should always stand by his players. Remember when you point a finger at others, three fingers point at you. SELWA NANDAN, Lautoka

Road work
CAN Fiji Roads Authority upgrade this road right up to Navakawau and Salialevu urgently please? Even the horses are refusing to go on this road. Forget about the vehicles. A. SHARIFF SHAH, Savusavu

Boys in the team

AFTER winning a few tournaments the Fiji team was too good in everything. Than Baber brought in better players just like what Ben Ryan did before the Olympics. Ben managed to get the gold but Baber failed. Baber you should have just used the boys in the team. Sukha Singh, Labasa

Team selection
I believe our 7s gladiators did not pray or “thank the Lord” enough, hence the dismal semi-final performance in SF. Baber’s questionable team selection could also have been a contributor factor. Nishant Singh, Lautoka

Oh dear

DEAR oh dear! Fiji could be celebrating by now. Another four years of waiting. What happened? My neighbours were all prepared with their firecrackers on Monday morning. Oh my Fiji, isa lei, oi lei noqu Viti. Vili Yaranamua, Nadi

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