Learning lesson

Jerry Tuwai of Fiji is tackled by Tim Mikkelson of New Zealand on day one of the HSBC London Sevens at Twickenham Stadium on June 2, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. Picture: ZIMBIO

FIJI Airways Fiji 7s coach Gareth Baber said the side gave their best in the Paris 7s Cup quarter-final, but fell short towards the end allowing England to win. He said the side was punished for giving away possession which also cost the side the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series title. “My thoughts on the game are that it was one that we allowed to get away from us,” said Baber from Paris yesterday before the team is expected to return home today. “We had certainly put ourselves in a good position, but allowed England to gain possession and punish us. “We had planned to create pressure on England without the ball and close down their pace threats. For the majority of the game, I felt that we achieved that with some outstanding defence. “In the last play of the game, we saw just how dangerous they could be and I thought that in managing to retain the ball for 25 plus passes showed patience and skill to see out the win.” Despite the loss, Baber said the side would take the positives and build on for the upcoming 7s tournaments including the Rugby Sevens World Cup. He said the side had copped heavy criticisms which the team would used as inspiration. “I take huge positives out of our performance levels during the season. “The plan we compiled last June was to try and establish a training system which would provide the ability for our players to find consistency to performance. “The ability to do this at international level is based on the coming together of a number of factors such as technical, tactical, mental, lifestyle, spiritual and physical. “I believe that although our season did not start with the results we wanted, I could already see gains from the previous year. “While I did not know that our first tournament win would be in Hamilton, this seemed to crystalise for a number of the players just what all the training was about. “Up until this point, myself, management and players had been heavily criticised. “I believe that this provided a catalyst for further development and established a focus on how we do things. “This, in turn, led to a greater clarity of “our’ system, one which we all understood and enabled a basis for a secure training performing environment,” Baber concluded. The team is scheduled to return today.