DROPPED ball is one of the area that needed to be ironed out by the Flying Fijians that denied them two tries in their 29-17 win over Tonga at Lautoka's Churchill Park yesterday.
In the 7th minute, flanker Jo Domolailai lost the ball forward six metres from Fiji's try line with only one defender to beat while fullback Metuisela Talebula was unmarked outside him.
Fiji's second scoring chances came in the 35th minute of the game when inside centre Isake Katonibau spilled the ball forward three metres from the try line with no Tongan defenders in front of him. Katonibau said the players were more focussed on the physical battle and at the same time lost concentration and made basic mistakes. "We committed many unforced errors which could have made more difference to the scoreline." Katonibau said. We were more focussed on our players giving big hits and I think we lacked concentration in some vital and basic aspects of the game, resulting in dropped passes and knock-ons.
"But I must commend the boys for their never-say-die fighting spirit.
"We came here with a determined heart and with a positive mindset to win the game. Despite the errors committed in the first spell, the boys regrouped in the second spell to avenge Fiji's loss to Tonga last year." Katonibau said the boys gave their all during the encounter.
Nippy halfback Nikola Matawalu again continued his fine form from the game against Scotland last week. The Ra native made some good runs that caught the opposition back peddling. His speed off the mark and his vision of the game makes him the best halfback in Fiji at the moment.
Former national sevens skipper Watisoni Votu also played a grand game, landing some big hits to his opponents.
In the forwards, skipper Setefano Somoca led by example and the locking partners of Leone Nakarawa and Api Naikatini were a thorn in the Tongan pack.