8 February, 2018, 12:00 am
FORMER Fiji and New Zealand All Blacks winger Joeli Vidiri has called on the Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team to improve its style of play.
He was among a strong Fijian crowd which farewelled the gallant Fijians at the Auckland International Airport in New Zealand on Monday after winning the inaugural Hamilton 7s.
“We need to improve from playing individually and the players need to know their roles in the team,” the former Queen Victoria School sprinter said.
He said the players needed to communicate because when one of them broke defence, follow up should be there for support and ball retention.
“The boys showed what they can do when they play together as a team. I was proud of them and it was a very proud moment for Fiji, especially in the way the boys held themselves together
“The road to the final was not easy. It was very tough after playing in the quarter-final against Samoa which was hard game and the semi-final against New Zealand. So, in the final, the boys were used to the pressure.
“When South Africa tried to pressure them, they knew what to do. It helped them win the final.
“I was proud of how the coach selected his team because in past tournaments, he changes his line-up every now and again. In Hamilton he stuck with the same front row and backline.
“I am happy that Baber is starting to hear the players and the public. I am happy on how he is using Vatemo Ravouvou.
“In the final when Vatemo came in, he showed experience and the difference he brought into the team. He controlled play and helped in the momentum of the team.”
While Fiji is reeling from the historic victory, the Mosi native from the highlands of Nadi said Fiji should not rest on her laurels but look for ways to be abreast of other 7s nations.
“Last weekend was a good weekend for Fijian communities and the nation.
“We had been waiting for that win for a long time.
“Now all countries are catching up in 7s. We have to step up because countries like South Africa and New Zealand are catching up.
“We have to do better so that we can maintain our number one status in the 7s arena.”
He calls on members of the public to support coach Baber.