Defence the word from coach Gollings

Fiji Airways Fiji 7s coach Ben Gollings during the team's training run in Hong Kong. Picture: MARTIN SERAS LIMA/FILE

Defence will be a key word used by Ben Gollings this weekend as the Fiji Airways Fiji 7s side looks to return to the winner’s podium starting this weekend with the Hong Kong 7s tournament.

Having failed to win in Hong Kong last November and at the past six events on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Gollings gets a second bite at the cherry at the mecca of sevens to get things right.

The side faces Samoa, Canada and Argentina in pool play over the three-day tournament.

The former England captain says the players were enjoying the cool weather in So Kon Po and preparations were “so far so good”.

He said something they had learned from their sixth-place finish in Vancouver last month was getting their defence right and controlling the controllables.

“Something we’ve learned from our last tournament was our defence — we’ve got to be a lot more switched on because it’s turning us when we’re missing tackles, and it’s de-energizing us,” Gollings said.

“It’s hard to work for long periods of time in this game. So we’ve got to be effective and keep balls against the likes of Samoa.

“They’ve got to focus and really come together, but we know exactly where we want to be come this weekend and what we need to get through this week.”

The side faces Samoa first up at 7.26pm today.

Tomorrow they face Canada at 3.52pm and the high-flying Argentina at 8.37pm.

“Having three big teams is exciting for us and it helps keep the focus because it’s basically a cup final after cup final here now and the way this tournament plays out,” Gollings said.

“So it’s exciting and no more so than Samoa in the very first game. Everybody fighting, everybody wants an opportunity, everybody wants to hit quarter-finals, everyone wants to hit the finals because of the points and the Olympic qualification.

“We know Samoa are going to come out so it’s really key for us that we set a good platform and we get the tournament off to a good start.

“We know we’ve got the capabilities.”

With the return of lanky Joseva Talacolo from injury and the inclusion of Terio Tamani and Suliano Volivoli in the team, Gollings said the players had gelled well and looking forward to playing in Hong Kong.

“The boys that have come in have been fantastic. They’ve kind of moved into the squad and gelled well with the players and are working really hard on the field which is exactly what we want from them. Exciting opportunity for them to be in a big tournament like Hong Kong.

“We’ve got in the squad quite a few from November who experienced what Hong Kong is like and we know it’s gonna be a little bit bigger this time. So far it’s been really positive.”

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