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Fiji Time: 6:23 PM on Sunday 20 April

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Fiji blows 18-0 lead

Arin Kumar
Thursday, November 15, 2012

A FORMER national fifteens rugby captain believes the Flying Fijians can bounce back to win their two remaining games on their Europe Tour.

The national side lost their first match to England 12-54 on Sunday morning and then yesterday morning, they suffered a shock 29-31 loss to the Gloucester Rugby Club.

Pio Bosco Tikoisuva said Fiji should put the losses behind them and work on winning against Ireland A and Georgia.

Fiji lead 18-0 after 30 minutes before successive penalty tries saw them succumb to their second defeat on tour.

Fiji led at 18-10 at half-time after tries from Tuapati Talemaitoga and Timoci Matanavou and penalties from Jonetani Ralulu.

Winger Watisoni Votu scored the lone try for Fiji in the second half and Ralulu added two conversions.

A yellow card to Penijamini Matuku resulted in a penalty try to Gloucester and another yellow to Nemani Nagusa saw the hosts get another penalty try.

Fiji were leading 26-24 in the last quarter of the match but a try to Koree Britton in the last few minutes and the successful conversion from Dan Robson saw Gloucester steal the match from under Fiji's nose.

Tikoisuva has 19 Test caps to his name from 1968 to 1978 and was the captain of the team that scored the historic 25-21 win over the British Lions in 1977.

He said the Flying Fijians had the capability to win but needed to improve their weaknesses.

"Somehow it's a matter of working together and as an individual on the field," the former Fiji Rugby Union chief executive officer said.

"The players have the capabilities, the experience and the strength to win."

He said the coaching staff needs to come up with a good game plan to help the side for the next two games.

"The coaching group needs to assess the two games and come up with a good game plan that will help us win the remaining games."

The Flying Fijians face Ireland A on Sunday morning.