Editorial comment – Go Fiji, go

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Frank Lomani runs away from the defence during the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians training session at Albert Park in Suva on Tuesday, June 05, 2018. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

IT is good to know that national rugby coach John McKee says they have put last weekend’s loss to Scotland behind them and are now focused on their next game this weekend.

Last week’s loss, he said, was disappointing but they had taken what they could from that and would concentrate on preparations for Uruguay.

The Flying Fijians, McKee said, came off with some strong reference points from the Scotland game, and have “things to work on as well as some positives that we will look to reinforce”.

We face an Uruguay side that has already lost its first two warm-up matches of the tour against Guinness PRO14 clubs, Welsh-based Cardiff Blues 45-21 and Ireland’s Ulster club 21-5.

“We had some good passages of play and more from unstructured play and will be looking to build on that this weekend,” McKee pointed out.

The two sides last met in Pool A at the 2015 Rugby World Cup where Fiji came out victors 47-15.

We ran in seven tries to two and avoided being placed at the bottom of the pool. We now sit on 10th spot in the latest World Rugby rankings with Uruguay ranked 18th.

This will be Fiji and Uruguay’s second meeting in a Test match level. We are in the same pool in the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

These facts actually place pressure on us to lift our game this weekend.

That and the amazing performance of the Fijian Drua in this season’s National Rugby Championship will certainly raise the expectations of Fijian fans. We realise standards are different.

This must be raised though as we gear up for the weekend. Fijian rugby took a massive jump when the Drua toppled the best to take top honours in the NRC this season.

They rocked the competition with a brand of rugby that embraced our flair, pace and unpredictability.

Raw power and commitment upfront ensured we held our own in the set pieces.

We were better structured around the scrums even though we copped flak in the line-outs.

When it came to unleashing our exciting backline, we did so with enthusiasm. We enjoyed our game. We thrived under the immense pressure and intensity, and we came off with flying colours.

This weekend, fans will no doubt be eager to see a change in fortunes at Test level. Test rugby isn’t your normal cup of tea so to speak.

It’s an arena where the best must thrive under great pressure.

It is intense and even the best can wilt under pressure.

Our Flying Fijians need our support and well wishes to reach out for the stars.

They need our support to cheer them on.

We say go Fiji, go.

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