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Physical affair

Arin Kumar
Thursday, June 19, 2014

FLYING Fijians halfback Nikola Matawalu knows what to expect from Samoan counterpart Kahn Fotuali'i when the two sides meet in the Pacific Nations Cup fixture on Saturday.

Matawalu was impressive for the Vodafone-sponsored side in their 45-17 thrashing of Tonga last week in Lautoka.

He said he was looking forward to a tough battle against Samoa on Saturday at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.

Matawalu said he played for Glasgow Warriors in their 26-20 win over Fotuali'i's Ospreys' side in the RaboDirect Pro12 in 2013.

"I know some of his styles and I know what to expect from him," the former national sevens rep said.

"I have played against him before so if I am in the team against him, I would know what to expect from him and he would know what to expect from me."

The 25-year-old expects a bruising battle against the Samoans which he believes will be a physical affair.

"It's always physical whenever Fiji meets Samoa and so this time too it will be tough.

"It will definitely be a good game to watch and I urge fans to come and watch us play."

Matawalu was under an injury cloud after Fiji's match against Tonga but he said he was raring to run out on the field once again.

"I had been visiting the physio regularly and I have been on recovery track and if my name is picked to wear the number nine jersey, I will do my best."

His Warriors teammate Leone Nakarawa, who was one of the standout players in Fiji's win over Tonga, said the ranking of the two nations would not matter when they run out on the field.

Samoa is ranked ninth on the International Rugby Board ranking while Fiji is ranked tenth.

"Ranking will have nothing to do when we are out there on the field," Nakarawa said.

"We are not looking at rankings, we are going there for a win."

The former national sevens rep said the team was fully focused on facing Samoa and would give their best performance of the PNC on Saturday.

"Samoa would be very tough and so we have put our wins over Italy and Tonga behind us and are fully gearing to take on Samoa."