Fiji attack with such pace that defenders struggle to get in position - Baber

Fiji attack with such pace that defenders struggle to get in position - Baber

By Alipate Narawa
Thursday 22/02/2024
Source: World Rugby

When you talk about the Fijians, what they do when they attack defenders is they do it with such pace that defenders struggle to get in a position to create dominance in the tackle.

Former Fiji Airways Men’s National 7s coach Gareth Baber highlighted this saying that relationship between understanding where space is and how you utilise that space is the game of rugby and why he loves sevens.

Baber says it may only be over six or seven metres but they are using that pace in a different way to create pressure on two or three defenders, which gives them an opportunity to then go and play elsewhere.

He says by contrast, South Africa take a completely different approach – they beat teams by “being quicker than everybody else in everything they do.

Baber says what you are trying to do all the time as attackers is suck defenders into an area, either to create space elsewhere or to create an opportunity for you to beat them to the next space: and the offload is a classic example of that, explaining why his former charges in Fiji excel at this most thrilling of skills.

He says what they are particularly good at is their recognition of the body language and anticipation of what the ball carrier is going to do, to get themselves into the next space.

Baber says they then have that capacity when they are in the tackle to get their arms free, and an innate awareness of how to be subtle in the pass.

It is all of this that leads to the basketball-style flicks over and behind heads that often define Fiji’s play – and, most crucially of all, result in tries.

The Fiji Men’s and Fijiana teams have both settled in Vancouver as they get ready for the tournament to kick off this Saturday.

The Fiji Men’s 7s team will take on Spain at 11.20am Saturday in their first match, they will then play Canada at 4.44pm Saturday before taking on Argentina at 10.33am Sunday in their last pool match.

The men’s cup quarter finals will kick off at 2.22pm Sunday, the cup semi finals will kick off at 8.43am Monday and the cup final will be at 1.23pm Monday.

The Fiji Airways Fijiana 7s will take on the USA at 7.30am Saturday in their first match, they will then play Australia at 12.46pm Saturday before playing Japan at 6.15am Sunday in their final pool match.

The women’s quarter finals will kick off at 11.55am Sunday, the semi finals will kick off at 7.59am Monday and the final will be at 12.43pm Monday.

FNRL
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