Fiji coach Gareth Baber urges his high-fliers to stay humble

By Machuki Sundaa

Fiji head coach Gareth Baber has asked his players to remain humble ahead of the Singapore Sevens despite their rousing victory in Hong Kong last weekend.

The Fijians, who moved up to second on the HSBC World Sevens Series after their Hong Kong victory, are in a tough Pool A with South Africa, Scotland and Canada in the Singapore Sevens and Baber insists they go in with the same mindset as they did in Hong Kong.

“Regardless of the points system, my focus is to ensure the players deliver what they did in Hong Kong, Cape Town and Hamilton,” said Baber, referring to the three tournaments they have won so far in the series. “It doesn’t change because we are now in second place in the table. It is all about controlling what you do, preparing the right way and not getting ahead mentally and thinking that you are potentially better than you are.”

Fiji are on 123 points out of seven of the 10 tournaments with United States leading the standings on 130 points. Baber says his players are tired after their Hong Kong exertions, no different than the other teams who also played there, and they need to dig deep if they are to win successive titles.

“We have the players in the swimming pool also eating and hydrating properly and the process of recovery started on Sunday night and it is a tough ask to go from such a high winning Hong Kong, which means so much to all Fijians and then head to Singapore,” he said.

“We train the boys to operate at this level and we all know that this week is the tough one, and it is all about getting our team ready. We know the processes that have to be put in right to allow us to win this tournament and now it is about being confident in our plan and not getting blinded by fatigue or distraction.”

“We have been here before with the same fatigue levels and a few players had more game time than others and we will manage them. It is now a race for all teams to see who can get their players in the best physical and mental state.”

Main photo credit: Mike Lee – KLC fotos, World Rugby