Our 7s challenge

Fred Wesley | Thursday, January 25, 2018
National coach Gareth Baber has made no bones about the need for us to reach out for top honours at this weekend's Sydney 7s.
Fred Wesley. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU
Fred Wesley. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

He said it was about time we won it.

Strong words indeed.

You could read it anyway you want to. The bottom line is our men have a challenge before them.

They must now dig deep within themselves to inch out the excitement, flair and uncanny vision associated with Fijian rugby sevens, to topple the best this weekend.

Perhaps it is a good thing. It could kick-start our campaign. It could force a rethink of strategies, or even strengthen our commitment at the Allianz Stadium.

The comment yesterday was bold. Perhaps it needed to be said anyway, maybe to release caged up adrenalin for starters.

Now that it is out of the way, the challenge for Baber and the team is to live up to expectations.

It was partly cloudy yesterday afternoon in Sydney, with the temperature hovering around the 28 degree Celsius mark. Humidity hovered around 85 per cent.

It is expected to be the same through to the weekend. At least that's according to the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology weather forecast, predicting more partly cloudy days.

The weather is similar to Fiji weather. So we have part of the base from which to launch our campaign.

It is now about perfecting our set pieces, our attacking and defensive shapes, ball control and how we react to different situations on the field.

Surely Baber would have drilled into the minds of our team the importance of discipline.

Baber wants to end our losing streak at the Sydney 7s this weekend.

Fiji participated in the opening two tournaments but came away disappointed in 2016 and 2017.

He wants to be the first to lead the Fijian side to victory in Sydney.

It was after the team's first training session at the Leichhardt Oval in Sydney yesterday that he made the comment.

The comment will no doubt place pressure on our team to perform.

Perhaps it is a good thing considering we are scheduled to take on the might of Sir Gordon Tietjen's Samoa, New Zealand and Russia in our pool.

We play our first game against Samoa.

Now that isn't going to be a walk in the park tomorrow.

We have a huge challenge before us now. We can either embrace it, or fall back on excuses at the end of this tournament.

We must address weaknesses that nullified our efforts in the opening leg in Dubai and Cape Town late last year, focus on Sydney, and believe in ourselves if we want positive results. Go Fiji, go.

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