13 Apr 2017

Sport: Fiji Sevens come to grips with Baber approach

1:02 pm on 13 April 2017

The Fiji Sevens will try and repeat the feats of Hong Kong in Singapore this week but their coach said it will be difficult as each tournament brings new challenges.

Fiji won the Hong Kong tournament in their best performance of the season last weekend.

But Baber says while they will look to carry that form into Singapore this weekend, every team is trying to perform at their best.

"Every team is doing it and every coach is doing the same thing, we happen to all be staying at the same hotel and using the same ground," Baber said.

"The level is such that it can be a percent or mental preparation or a physical factor or even a technical-tactical factor in the weeks leading up.

"Changes of players and things make performance the puzzle for next weekend," he said.

"We are all doing the same thing and obviously my job is to make sure I do it for Fiji."

One thing is for sure, the team and Baber have begun to understand each other a bit more.

The coach said his team was becoming comfortable with his systems.

Baber took over the reins from Olympic gold medal-winning coach Ben Ryan.

Gareth Baber made his debut as Fiji coach at the 2017 Wellington Sevens

Gareth Baber, (left), made his debut as Fiji coach at the 2017 Wellington Sevens Photo: Photosport

Although he signed on last year, his first tournament in charge was at the Wellington Sevens in January.

Baber said the players are at ease with his coaching.

"The players are just in a more comfortable position and they can see that what's operating around them is more consistent," he said.

"It's enabling them to get on with what they need to get on with and put performances in.

"There's obviously things I look at and coach differently from the things Ben [Ryan] did but it doesn't mean the whole concepts are different," Baber said.

Baber said Sevens is a simple game but certain things have to be practised.

He said the team is now focussing on continuing those positives this week in Singapore where Fiji will face Canada, Hong Kong and Russia in pool play.

Fiji's task will be made harder by the loss of Vatemo Ravouvou, Apisai Domolailai and Joeli Lutumailagi through injury.