Tonga maps out plan to stop Flying Fijians

Tonga player Peni Latu trains during the captain’s run at Churchill Park Lautoka. Picture: REINAL CHAND

TONGA has mapped out a stringent defence pattern to shut down the pacey Fiji Airways Flying Fijians at Churchill Park in Lautoka this afternoon.

The Ikale Tahi capped off its captain’s run yesterday with a lot of emphasis in the tackling department. Tonga coach Toutai Kefu has rated Fiji highly saying they were a world-class side.

“We will have to make our tackles and be connected in defence because Fiji will be dangerous from anywhere,” the former Wallaby number eight said.

“I don’t think that we will be able to stop them fully but we will try to limit that. “They have very good players and are a world-class team. They have had a lot of tier one Tests and have proven very competitive in those games. “We have been trying to improve our set piece play. We have some good quality forwards and that is one thing we are trying to progress in the Test series. “We will need to limit our turnovers and mistakes. In the first Test against Georgia we made about 20 errors.”

Tonga finished second in the 2018 Pacific Nations Cup behind winners Fiji. Kefu, who earned 60 caps for Australia, said the match was important as they build up for next year’s Rugby World Cup. He has urged the Tongan fans to turn up in numbers to support them.

“It will be a very high tempo unstructured flowing game and we are prepared for that,” Kefu said.

“It’s a very important game just to see the players and their stage of development. I will get a chance to see some new players as well “I think that there are Tongans all over the world, even if you go to the most remote places you will find Tongans. “We have played here before with little bit of success and have had really good support. Hopefully they will come out in numbers to support us. “The biggest message to our players is to play with some passion that we used to play with before. Being physical and play for our families and country.”

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