A tough battle

AS the Vodafone Flying Fijians anticipate another tough battle against the Ikale Tahi, former skipper Vereniki Goneva believes the first battle is among the players themselves.

He said the one of the biggest challenges was to secure a spot in the final 23-member side —— let alone the starting line-up.

This is because of the many talented and top players named to battle against the Tongans in this weekend’s Pacific Nations Cup which also serves as a world cup qualifier.

Goneva said tussling for a spot in the wing and centre positions would be an uphill battle especially with the availability of star players such as Josua “The Bus’ Tuisova, Super Rugby flyer Patrick Osborne, France-based speedsters Timoci Nagusa, Benito Masilevu, Jale Vatubua, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, and the two local boys in John Stewart and Eroni Vasiteri.

He said all players had been working hard to secure a spot in the final team.

“I believe this is a big battle for all players not only in the back line but also in the forwards,” said Goneva.

“Everyone is putting their hands up and everyone is working hard to secure a spot in the final team.

“The boys understand the intense challenge among each other and this makes the team stronger.”

The 33-year-old flyer said the side expected a physical and tough encounter against the fiery islanders.

He said the Tongans would be tough to beat on their home turf.

“As expected Tonga will be physical and tough and this has always been the case when the two teams battle.”

“This is a big challenge especially it also serves as a world cup qualifying game.

“The boys are really looking forward to the game and we know the importance of this battle.”

Goneva has called on the people of Fiji to support the side in their prayers.

The game is scheduled for 3pm on Saturday at Teufaiva Stadium in Nukualofa.

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