Fiji’s run to the top of the World Rugby Sevens Series standings is about far more than the hard yards put in on the mythological Sigatoka sand dunes, according to coach Gareth Baber.
The fan favourites were simply spectacular in the Hamilton Sevens final on Sunday, scoring six sizzling tries on their way to a 38-0 rout of the USA.
The win secured Fiji’s place atop the World Series standings, stringing together consecutive tournament wins.
The improved consistency in their performance has been credited to an uptick in overall fitness levels and while some believe that is due to extra stints done on the Sigatoka sand dunes, Baber believes there is more to the team’s success than meets the eye.
“I know that in Fiji there is a whole lot of mythology around the sand dunes and it’s right,” Baber said.
“We go up there quite regularly and the way the boys train, it is pretty special when you’re up there.
“There is a religious quality to it, about how we feel when we are up there, but particularly how close the players are at that stage.
“But that is one of the elements at our training – as well as training at Albert Park, training at a gym or doing some other efforts.
“As a player, we want to get them as many different stimuli as possible, test them and just see them respond.
“That’s where the biggest learning happens.”
The Fijians have arrived in Sydney eager to avenge some poor showings at the tournament in recent years.
They will be the fan favourites at Spotless Stadium this weekend and Baber wants to turn that fan support into a third straight World Series trophy.
“The Australian team are putting pressure on all of us for those Olympic spots but there should be a Fijian crowd here for us which would be wonderful
“We want to carry on with the quality we did show in Hamilton.”