Fijiana 15s wary of Samoans

Fiji Airways Fijiana 15s player Lavenia Tinai looks for support during the Captain’s run at Churchill Park in Lautoka. Picture: REINAL CHAND

THE Fiji Airways Fijiana will adopt a stringent defensive pattern in order to contain the rampant Samoa forwards during the Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship decider at Churchill Pak in Lautoka this afternoon.

The winner of the fixture will be crowned as women’s XVs rugby champions in the region. Both teams are unbeaten going into the final round robin match. Fijiana defeated Tonga 53-8 in the first round and thumped Papua New Guinea 97-0 in the second round. Known as Manusina, Samoa downed PNG 56-45 and defeated Tonga 68-7.

Fijiana captain Rusila Nagasau said it was back to strength and conditioning after the second match against PNG on Tuesday. She said there were no injury concerns in the lead-up to the final. “The focus has been on our physical conditioning and we have been doing gym sessions,” Nagasau said.

“On Wednesday we had a blackboard session to identify our mistakes and we hope to improve from our previous game.

“There are no major injury concerns and all the players are raring to go. We will need to lift our defence against Samoa.”

Nagasau expects the Samoans to adopt a forward oriented game plan.

“They have a robust forward pack,” she said.

“Our scrum needs to hold because the Samoans are big and very physical. They will come straight at us through the forwards.

“We have to be quick at the break downs and get our throws during the line-outs right.”

Fijiana, coached by Inoke Male, is the defending champion. The match will kick off at 3.30pm.

In another match, Tonga will take on PNG at 1pm.

In promoting of women’s rugby in the region, there is free entry for all women and girls and children under-12 for today’s fixtures whilst for others tickets are $5 flat for both the grandstand and embankment.

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