Las Vegas 7s: Team targets discipline

The Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team with fans James ans Latrina Peyton at the Las Vegas 7s Parade of Nations in Las Vegas last night. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

NATIONAL men’s sevens rugby coach Gareth Baber said Fiji would not tailor its games based on who is refereeing Fiji’s game.

He was asked whether he would consider this as a strategy in light of Fiji’s penalties and cards in the series. Fiji has some of the tallest and biggest forwards in the series.

However, in the past four tournaments 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.

Forward Sevuloni Mocenacagi copped a red card at the HSBC Sydney 7s and was named the 13th man this weekend.

“We are trying to get the boys to reduce the height of their tackles,” Baber said.

“We work hard on that by having smaller targets for the boys to hit.” Former national coach Ben Ryan said match officials had been have been “very hot” on high tackles. “.

And all teams know that so there isn’t an excuse really.

Some cards are unlucky and sometimes a reaction to a late step and a swinging arm comes instinctively up.

“However, if you are technically spot on then you will already have your hands up high (like a goalkeeper) and be ready to adjust quicker.

“I’m sure that’s being attended to in camp.

“The other thing that is also in my opinion a factor with discipline is what happens off field does go into on field behaviour. Players and staff must understand that there is a real connection between behaviour and performance. Now I’m not saying that this is the issue with the current team but it’s certainly something we had to be very hot on and the boys had to understand and buy into 100 per cent.”

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