18 Apr 2017

Sport: Fiji 7s still searching for consistency

1:07 pm on 18 April 2017

Fiji sevens coach Gareth Baber says they are still searching for consistency on the World Series, after their worst finish of the season in Singapore saw their hopes of a third straight title slip further away.

After the highs of winning in Hong Kong, Fiji were upset 24-19 by the United States in the Cup quarter finals in Singapore before series leaders South Africa prevailed 19-14 in their fifth place semi final encounter.

"We've just got to learn to be a little bit more consistent," said Baber.

"We came up against a good American side in the quarter final and they reacted far better than we did and in the South Africa game going down to six men hurt us badly.

"We're not despondent about the way it's happened. We're disappointed obviously that we couldn't replicate the performance and go for a double but we got a lot out of the two weeks and certainly the Hong Kong performance - the semi final, final - was a big high for us."

Isake Katonibau of Fiji charges forward against USA at the Singapore Sevens.

Isake Katonibau of Fiji charges forward against USA at the Singapore Sevens. Photo: World Rugby / Martin Seras Lima

Canada created history in Singapore, bouncing back from a 35-7 defeat by Fiji in their opening match to beat the USA in an-all North American final, to claim their maiden tournament victory.

Canada celebrate winning their maiden World Sevens Series tournament in Singapore.

Canada celebrate winning their maiden World Sevens Series tournament in Singapore. Photo: World Rugby / Martin Seras Lima

Gareth Baber said the Fiji team team will now have a brief respite before regrouping for the final two tournaments in Paris and London.

"Everybody rests up for a week and then we come back in next week to train," he said.

"It's a relatively short turnaround as all these are - we have sort of two weeks back and then we fly our to France for the week previous to the tournament.

"We're in good shape physically, obviously I've just got to check on how everbody is mentally."

The defending World Series champions trail the Blitz Boks by 25 points with two round remaining and Baber conceded their title hopes were over.

"In fairness to South Africa they've shown the most consistency in performance over the series (and) they continue to do that," he said.

"I know that they had their battles yesterday - likewise ourselves and likewise New Zealand and even England - but they've still got a march again in that direction. We know we're in a battle for second place."

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

Fiji coach Gareth Baber (left) Photo: Photosport

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