9s team build on bonding

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Ilisavani Jegesa going through the drills during the Fiji Bati Nines training at USP grounds. Picture: JONA KONATACI/FT FILE

Strengthening the on-field relationship and communication of players would be one of the key pillars for the Fiji Bati 9s in the Pacific Games.

The Bati 9s is one of the few Fiji teams that will be defending the gold medal attained from Samoa four years ago at the Solomon Islands.

Led by the tactical coaching of mentor Vula Dakuitoga, the Bati 9s boast several young talents with only two surviving gold medallists from 2019 in Rusiate Ratu and Josua Roko adding experience to the 15-man team.

Dakuitoga who mentored the team to gold in Samoa stated that their preparations have been based around specific key areas.

“For the past month that we have been training, the one thing that I’ve stressed is the importance of each individual player understanding their specific role.

“Our set-pieces will only work if the nine players on the field execute their required roles and that is very important if we want to put points on the board.”

He added that leaning on their defending champion tag and being complacent would simply be not enough.

“Defending is the hardest part especially now that all teams will be thoroughly prepared. No team will want to settle for anything less than gold.

“We just have to play our part, control the contact area and by that I mean the ruck area. Managing the contact area will determine how fast or slow we can spread the ball which means our players will need to be at the right place, at the right time,” Dakuitoga stated.

The team is calling for support from families and fans as they embark on their quest of bringing home gold.

The Bati 9s will depart for Honiara next Tuesday.