Fiji is the only team in the World Series that scores tries with fewer percentage of possession - Baber

Fiji is the only team in the World Series that scores tries with fewer percentage of possession - Baber

By Mosese Raqio
Thursday 04/04/2024
The Fiji Men's 7s team contest for the ball in a scrimmaging session with Samoa earlier this week in preparation for the Hong Kong tournament. [Image: Fiji Rugby]

The National Program Manager for Fiji 7s, Gareth Baber has highlighted that the Fiji Airways Men’s National 7s side is the only team in the HSBC SVNS World Series that scores with the fewest percentage of possession and all other teams know that and they stop Fiji from having possession at all.

While speaking on fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan, Baber says Fiji is also the team that traditionally scores tries the quickest.

He says Fiji scores through turnovers and breakdowns, tap down off a kickoff and also phases off the scrums and that is really important for Fiji on how they play the game.

Baber highlighted teams like the USA have slowed the game down most of the time to try and stop Fiji from having possession and the referee has allowed them to do it even though they were not supposed to do it.

He says it is always important to have a plan of getting the ball back when they lose it during a lineout, scrum or kickoff, because if there is no plan then they are playing into the opposition’s hands.

He adds if Fiji manages to turnover possession in defence, then that is another avenue for them to score tries but it does not mean that they are in control of that area.

When asked what happens when Fiji does not have the ball and what difference it makes from having possession, Baber says the reason why Fiji won gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 was because they went into something that they are best in the world at and grew up doing.

He says it is instinctive and it is the way the game is played and rugby 7s gives the ability to do that more than rugby 15s does.

Baber says it is also about how the hard structures like the set pieces, the kick-offs, what the defensive system looks like and the behaviours on the field are put into the game time and time again which is forgotten by the players most of the time.

He says those need to sit well in order to produce the game of control chaos.

Meanwhile, the Fiji Men’s 7s team will begin their Hong Kong 7s campaign against Australia at 9.30pm tomorrow.

They will then take on Canada at 12.33am Saturday and play France at 5.43pm Saturday in their final pool match.

The Fijiana 7s side will play Australia at 4.25pm tomorrow in their first match, followed by their match against South Africa at 7.12pm tomorrow, and they will play Ireland at 3.02pm Saturday in their final pool match.

The Hong Kong 7s will be held from tomorrow to Sunday.

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