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Fiji ready for Samoa

Rashneel Kumar
Wednesday, June 18, 2014

THE Vodafone Flying Fijians are ready to take on the Samoan forwards when the two clash on Saturday in the Pacific Nations Cup match at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.

National coach John McKee said the players were eager to "counter their physicality with some physicality of our own" this weekend.

The Samoans, who arrived into the country yesterday, are relying on their bulky forward pack to drive them through to victory.

However, McKee said they had been working on the forward play since the Italy game a fortnight ago, adding the players were ready to counter anything that would come across them.

"Looking at Samoa's game last week, they are very physical team and it's going to be a tough battling them, particularly upfront and around the rucking areas, we have to be really smart on how we play the game around those areas and counter their physicality with some physicality of our own," he said.

"If I was playing against Fiji, I will be looking to take them on the forwards as well because our strength is in the backs.

"They are probably wary of our speed outside so they want to try to close the game down."

McKee rated Samoa a stronger side than Tonga. Fiji thrashed Tonga 45-17 at Churchill Park in Lautoka last week.

"I think the Samoans got a stronger team from probably 1 to 22.

"Certainly, I think they got lot more bulk in their forwards so they will try to play us on those areas."

McKee said they had tuned down in their training to ensure the players recovered properly for the upcoming game.

"This week we will probably be doing less work than we did in the first two weeks because we got all that training behind us so it allows us to get through the work we need to do but also freshen up."

Suva front row Leeroy Atalifo was at training yesterday and McKee is not ruling out the possibility of him playing against Samoa.