Editorial comment – Go Fiji, go

The Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team at the Las Vegas 7s Parade of Nations in Las Vegas last night. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

The  stage is set for an exciting weekend of top rugby sevens action in Las Vegas.

That’s when we take on the might of Scotland, Wales and Australia in our pool games.

It’s difficult to shrug aside the massive undertaking we are faced with.

These teams are not easy beats. We are staring at a tough pool round this weekend. We have a challenge before us.

We head in as one of the hot favourites following the memorable victory in Hamilton, New Zealand in late January this year.

In Vegas, we have to come off with a herculean effort to climb back to the highest pedestal this weekend.

National coach Gareth Baber realises the fact that we have huge men means special attention has to be focused on some of the little issues that are already staring at us in the face. Baber is making sure we are not penalised for high tackles.

That means tailor making some of our training sessions to address that factor.

It means reducing the height of our tackles.

It means putting up smaller targets for the players to sink their shoulders into in team drills.

Fiji has some of the tallest and biggest forwards in the series.

In the past four tournaments though, Fiji has copped nine yellow cards, just two less than Samoa which has the highest number.

Fiji and Tonga are the only two countries to have copped red cards. Our Las Vegas 7s campaign starts at 11.22am today against Scotland.

We then play Wales at 2.23pm and Australia at 7.52am tomorrow.

Again we plan to bring you the best reports and pictures from Las Vegas this weekend. That means going behind the scenes, onto the stadium among the fans, and highlighting the happenings surrounding the national side. Baber is probably feeling the heat right now as we count-down to the start of the USA leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series this weekend. Not that it is a bad thing. In fact, Baber will readily admit there is pressure for his players as they prepare themselves for this weekend’s outings. We head into the Sam Boyd Stadium in Vegas as one of the favoured sides.

This weekend, fans will no doubt be hoping to relive that unforgettable moment in Vegas back in 2016 when we rode on the back of the hype generated by the monster cyclone Winston which struck us in February that year.

It set the stage for a memorable year that culminated in the unforgettable gold medal win at the Rio Olympics.

We hit a brick wall in Sydney in February this year, but fans will be hoping we have recovered enough to topple the best in Vegas.

Our challenge is to maintain consistency this weekend. Baber’s men must run out today with the knowledge that they have the support of Fijians around the world who expect them to give Vegas their best shot.

That is the least we can ask of them in a highly competitive sevens circuit that has no minnows anymore. Go Fiji, go.

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