6 Oct 2017

Sport: New-look Fiji 7s team take positives from Munich

12:14 pm on 6 October 2017

A new-look Fijian squad are stressing the positives after finishing runners-up to Australia at the Oktoberfest Sevens in Munich.

The Olympic champions were thrashed 40-7 in the final last weekend, having also lost to the Aussie 7s in pool play.

Head coach Gareth Baber said Sevuloni Mocenacagi and Amenoni Nasilasila were the only players in their squad to have featured regularly on the World Series.

"Apart from that there was two that made their debut last year but the others were all new," he said.

"I mean that's good for us in terms of bringing players through and having those competition levels."

"And the best thing, whatever you talk about in terms of being an international athlete, is the conditioned element - ie getting used to tournaments that are of that level and being able to handle yourself through them."

"Responding to disappointment in a competition and/or keeping your feet on the ground when you do well," he said.

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

Gareth Baber. Photo: Photosport

Gareth Baber said the Australian team they came up against was very experienced while they also took encouragement from a big win against the World Series champions Blitzboks.

"The scoreboard is always important - it really gives you a reflection of exactly I suppose a measure for you internally, to see exactly how a group is progressing," he reflected.

"But equally when we played South Africa in the semi final we did that to South Africa (beating them 38-21)."

"There's no knee-jerk reactions to what we're doing because I've got to be safe in the knowledge of what I'm developing and what we're doing here...I've got a plan at the moment and it involves growing the group that we've got for the battles we're going to have ahead over the next nine/ten months."

"This tournament, to get to a final, with the lack of experience that we did have in the group, was no mean feat and to see some of the performances from individuals and collectively along the way was very pleasing."

Fiji huddle up during the Wellington Sevens.

The World Series returns in December. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Gareth Baber said Fiji have players competing in numerous local sevens tournaments while they will also send teams to the Central Coast Sevens at the end of October and two separate squads for the Silicon Valley Sevens in San Jose and Oceania Sevens in Suva next month.

The new World Series campaign kicks off in Dubai in December.