Call for Nasilasila and Ravouvou to return

Fiji reps, from left, Amenoni Nasilasila, Jerry Tuwai and Vatemo Ravouvou in Cape Town, South Africa. Picture: SUPPLIED

FORMER Fiji 7s halfback Sirilo Lala believes the missing component in the Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team last weekend in the Las Vegas 7s tournament was mental fitness in the critical moments of the match.

He said the lack of experience from the impact players played a crucial role too.

Fiji lost three games and won three in the past tournament finishing at sixth place behind England with an injured player being ruled out for the whole season — Waisea Nacuqu.

Since Nacuqu has been given a three months break Lala said it would be a good time for Baber to bring back Amenoni Nasilasila and Vatemo Ravouvou into the team.

“Baber has a good line-up but with Nacuqu out, he needs Nasilasila and Ravouvou back because of the impact they can bring into the second half,” said Lala.

“Jerry Tuwai has been playing full time probably in all the games and he needs to rest and with Nasilasila at the halfback position and Ravouvou in the flyhalf will create chaos in the opposition.

“The two players have shown the ability to create gaps when unexpected and their goalkicking skills are one of the best in the HSBC (World Rugby Sevens Series) but it’s up to Baber at the end of the day.”

Lala said the boys gave the win away to Australia, New Zealand and England despite leading or trailing in the last few minutes of the game.

“There was a lot of individual play from the boys and they were doing this with teams that are professional in breakdowns and it contributed to their loss,” said Lala.

“The support wasn’t on time to secure the ball in breakdowns and they weren’t communicating which led to most of their off-loads countered.”

The Fijian side will be defending the Vancouver title this weekend and the team is expected to lift its performance.

“The team needs to be mentally fit against the top teams especially in the elimination stages, when they are winning they need to maintain possession and open their game plan and they need to be supportive because of the professionalism of the oppositions in breakdowns that causes turnovers,” Lala said.

Lala had represented the Fiji 7s team in 1998 and played at the Hong Kong, Commonwealth Games in Malaysia and Dubai 7s.

He continued playing for the Fiji 7s in 1999 and 2000.

Fiji will face Las Vegas finalist Samoa, Kenya and hosts Canada.

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